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BEING A BOOK OF WORDS FROM MANY
PENS, ABOUT THE GRAND CANYON OF
THE COLORADO RIVER IN ARIZONA.
Published by the
Passenger Department of the Santa Fe.
7 K t
by W. J. Black.
POOLE BROS. CHICAQO.
The Titan of Chasms, . . . . - ... C. A. Higgins, 9
The Scientific Explorer, J. W. Powell, 18
The Greatest Thing in the World, . . . C. F. Lummis, ^^
A Gash in Nature's Bared Breast, . . . J. L. Stoddard, 38
Engineering in the Grand Canyon, . . . R. B. Stanton, 43
Its Ineffable Beauty, Harriet Monroe, 54
A New Wonder of the World, .... Joaquin Miller, 58
The Grand Canyon at Night, Hamlin Garland, 61
On the Bright Angel Trail, William Allen White, .... 6^
The Canyon by Dark and by Day, . . . C. S. Gleed, 66
The Geology of the Grand Canyon Region, R. D. Salisbury, 68
The Witchery of It All, Nat M. Brigham,^ 83
American Art and American Scenery, . . Thomas Moran, 85
The Land of Patience, David Starr Jordan, 88
On the Brink of the Canyon, Charles Dudley Warner, ... 89
A Rhapsody, ^ "Fitz-Mac," ...... 91
Climbing Sunset Mountain, C. E. Beecher, 97
Cataract Canyon, H. P. Ewing, 102
John Hance: A Study, Hamlin Garland, 106
Information for Tourists, 121
Map of the Canyon Region, 129
C. A. HIGGINS.
THE TITAN OF CHASMS.
BY C. A. HIGGINS.
■^ The following description of the Grand Canyon region is
condensed from an article written ten years ago by Mr. C. A.
Higgins, and published in pamphlet form by the passenger
department of the Santa Fe.
Mr. Higgins (who, at the time of his sudden death in 1900,
occupied the position of Assistant General Passenger Agent of
the A. T. & S. F. Ry. in special charge of advertising) knew the
Grand Canyon more intimately than most men who have written
of it. He had descended all the trails and had camped for
weeks in the inner gorge and along the rim. He had visited it
with artists, lecturers, explorers and scientists. He had read
everything of value written about it. This research, acquaintance
and experience took root in a well-trained mind, keen for facts
and tenacious of impressions. He was a most lovable man, who appreciated books, music,
pictures, poetry and nature. Enjoying such things, he loved the Grand Canyon — there is
no other word so well expresses the relation. And being a lover, he wrote from the heart.
Mr. Higgins also loved the great Southwest, big with historic, scenic and human
Interest. His grasp of the ancient and modern in Indian life (facilitated by membership in
one of the most exclusive Moki secret societies), would ultimately have made him promi-
nent among ethnologists. His painstaking, his direct sympathy, his helpfulness to men of
science, were unexampled. He caught the deeper significance of symbol and design; their
translation revealed to him the meaning of the past and the purpose of the present among
these children of the desert. His researches among the dwellers in the skylight cities of
Arizona were as fruitful in practical results as his kindred study of the Grand Canyon.
|aHE Colorado is one of the great rivers of North America. Formed in
southern Utah by the confluence of the Green and Grand, it intersects the
north'^estern corner of Arizona, and, becoming the eastern boundary of
Nevada and California, flows southward until it reaches tidewater in the Gulf
of California, Mexico. It drains a territory of 300,000 square miles, and,
traced back to the rise of its principal source, is 2,000 miles long. At two points.
Needles and Yuma on the California boundary, it is crossed by a railroad. Elsewhere
its course lies far from Caucasian settlements and far from the routes of common travel,
in the heart of a vast region fenced on the one hand by arid plains or deep forests and
on the other by formidable mountains. ■*
The early Spanish explorers first reported it to the civilized world in 1540, two
separate expeditions becoming acquainted with the river for a comparatively short distance
above its mouth, and another, journeying from the Moki Pueblos northwestward across
the desert, obtaining the first view of the Big Canyon, failing in every effort to descend
the canyon wall, and spying the river only frorti afar.
Again, in 1776, a Spanish priest traveling southward through Utah struck oflF from
the Virgin River to the southeast and found a practicable crossing at a point that still
bears the name "Vado de los Padres."
THE TITAN OF CHASMS. C. A. HIGGINS,
For more than eighty years thereafter the Big Canyon remained unvisited, except by
the Indian, the Mormon herdsman and the trapper, although the Sitgreaves expedition
of 1 85 1, journeying westward, struck the river about one hundred and fifty miles above
Yuma, and Lieutenant Whipple in 1854 made a survey for a practicable railroad route
along the thirty-fifth parallel, where the Santa Fe Pacific has since been constructed.
The estabhshment of military posts in New Mexico and Utah having made desirable
the use of a water-way for the cheap transportation of supplies, in 1857 the War Depart-
ment dispatched an expedition in charge of Lieutenant Ives to explore the Colorado as
far from its mouth as navigation should be found practicable. Ives ascended the river
in a specially constructed steamboat to the head of Black Canyon, a few miles below the
confluence of the Virgin River in Nevada, where further navigation became impossible;
then, returning to the Needles, he set off across the country toward the northeast. He
reached the Big Canyon at Diamond Creek and at Cataract Creek in the spring of 1858,
and from the latter point made a wide southward detour around the San Francisco peaks,
thence northeastward to the Moki Pueblos, thence eastward to Fort Defiance and so
back to civilization.
That is the history of the explorations of the Colorado up to forty years ago. Its
exact course was unknown for many hundred miles, even its origin being a matter of
conjecture, it being difficult to approach within a distance of two or three miles from the
channel, while descent to the river's edge could be hazarded only at wide intervals,
inasmuch as it lay in an appalling fissure at the foot of seemingly impassable cliff terraces
that led down from the bordering plateau; and to attempt its navigation was to court
death. It was known in a general way that the entire channel between Nevada and Utah
was of the same titanic character, reaching its culmination nearly midway in its course
In 1869 Maj. J. W. Powell undertook the exploration of the river with nine men
and four boats, starting from Green River City, on the Green River, in Utah. The
project met with the most urgent remonstrance from those who were best acquainted with
the region, including the Indians, who maintained that boats could not possibly live in
any one of a score of rapids and falls known to them, to say nothing of the vast unknown
stretches in which at any moment a Niagara might be disclosed. It was also currently
believed that for hundreds of miles the river disappeared wholly beneath the surface of
the earth. Powell launched his flotilla on May 24, and on August 30 landed at the
mouth of the Virgin River, more than one thousand miles by the river channel from the
place of starting, minus two boats and four men. One of the men had left the expedition
by way of an Indian reservation agency before reaching Arizona, and three, after holding
out against unprecedented terrors for many weeks, had finally become daunted, choosing
to encounter the perils of an unknown desert rather than to brave any longer the frightful
menaces of that Stygian torrent. These three, unfortunately making their appearance
on the plateau at a time when a recent depredation was colorably chargeable upon them,
were killed by Indians, their story of having come thus far down the river in boats being
wholly discredited by their captors.
Powell's journal of the trip is a fascinating tale, written in a compact and modest
style, which, in spite of its reticence, tells an epic story of purest heroism. It definitely
established the scene of his exploration as the most wonderful geological and spectacular
phenomenon known to mankind, and justified the name which had been bestowed upon
THE TITAN OF CHASMS.
C. A. HIGGINS.
it — The Grand Canyon-
est of gorges; Titan of
Many scientists have since visited
it, and, in the aggregate, a large
number of unprofessional lovers of
nature; but until a few years ago
no adequate facilities were provided
for the general sight-seer, and the
world's most stupendous pano-
rama was known principally through
report, by reason of the discomforts
and difficulties of the trip, which
deterred all except the most inde-
BRIGHT ANGEL CAMP AND START DOWN TRAIL. The building of a railroad to
the rim and of a modern hotel at the rail terminus have made the Canyon side-ride pleas-
urable for that large class who enjoy being whirled speedily across country in commodious
cars, rather than slowly stage it, and who likewise prefer all the comforts of up-to-date club
life to the uncertainties of pioneer fare. You and I might wish to hark back to the old ways
of travel; the average man and woman better likes the luxurious transit of to-day. That is
why canyon visitors are now numbered by thousands as compared with the small parties
of a decade ago.
Even its geographical location is the subject of widespread misapprehension. Its
title has been pirated for application to relatively insignificant canyons in distant parts of
the country, and thousands of tourists have been led to believe that they saw the Grand
Canyon, when, in fact, they looked upon a totally diffisrent scene, between which and
the real Grand Canyon there is no more comparison "than there is between the Alle-
hanies or Trosachs and the Himalayas."
There is but one Grand Canyon. Nowhere in the world has its like been found.
AS SEEN FROM THE RIM.
Stolid indeed is he who can
front the awful scene and view its
unearthly splendor of color and
form without quaking knee or
tremulous breath. An inferno,
swathed in soft celestial fires; a
whole chaotic under-world, just
emptied of primeval floods and
waiting for a new creative word;
eluding all sense of perspective or
dimension, outstretching the fac-
ulty of measurement, overlapping
the confines of definite apprehen-
sion; a boding, terrible thing, un-
flinchingly real, yet spectral as a
a dream. The beholder is at first copyright, im. by Putnam &ralenUne.
II MAIN INDIAN CURIO ROOM, HOPI HOUSE.
A VIEW FROM THE NORTH WALL.
Photo, Putnam dt Valentine.
THE TITAN OF CHASMS. C. A. HIGGINS.
unimpressed by any detail; he is overwhelmed by the ensemble of a stupendous panorama,
a thousand square miles in extent, that lies wholly beneath the eye, as if he stood upon a
mountain peak instead of the level brink of a fearful chasm in the plateau whose opposite
shore is thirteen miles away. A labyrinth of huge architectural forms, endlessly varied
in design, fretted with ornamental devices, festooned with lace-like webs formed of talus
from the upper cliffs and painted with every color known to the palette in pure trans-
parent tones of marvelous delicacy. Never was picture more harmonious, never flower
more exquisitely beautiful. It flashes instant communication of all that architecture and
painting and music for a thousand years have gropingly striven to express. It is the J
soul of Michael Angelo and of Beethoven.
A canyon, truly, but not after the accepted type. An intricate system of canyons,
rather, each subordinate to the river channel in the midst, which in its turn is subordi-
nate to the whole effect. That river channel, the profoundest depth, and actually more
than 6,000 feet below the point of view, is in seeming a rather insignificant trench, attract-
ing the eye more by reason of its somber tone and mysterious suggestion than by any
appreciable characteristic of a chasm. It is perhaps five miles distant in a straight line,
and its uppermost rims are nearly 4,000 feet beneath the observer, whose measuring
capacity is entirely inadequate to the demand made by such magnitudes. One cannot
believe the distance to be more than a mile as the crow flies, before descending the wall
or attempting some other form of actual measurement.
Mere brain knowledge counts for little against the illusion under which the organ of
vision is here doomed to labor. Yonder cliff, darkening from white to gray, yellow and
brown as your glance descends, is taller than the Washington Monument. The Audito-
rium in Chicago would not cover one-half its perpendicular span. Yet it does not greatly
impress you. You idly toss a pebble toward it, and are surprised to note how far the
missile falls short. By and by you will learn that it is a good half mile distant, and when
you go down the trail you will gain an abiding sense of its real proportions. Yet, rela-
tively, it is an unimportant detail of the scene. Were Vulcan to cast it bodily into the
chasm directly beneath your feet, it would pass for a bowlder, if indeed it were discover-
able to the unaided eye.
Yet the immediate chasm itself is only the first step of a long terrace that leads down
to the innermost gorge and the river. Roll a heavy stone to the rim and let it go. It
falls sheer the height of a church or an Eiffel Tower, according to the point selected for
such pastime, and explodes Hke a bomb on a projecting ledge. If, happily, any consid-
erable fragments remain, they bound onward like elastic balls, leaping in wild parabola
from point to point, snapping trees like straws; bursting, crashing, thundering down the
declivities until they make a last plunge over the brink of a void; and then there comes
languidly up the cliff sides a faint, distant roar, and your bowlder that had withstood the
buffets of centuries lies scattered as wide as Wycliffe's ashes, although the final fragment
has lodged only a little way, so to speak, below the rim. Such performances are fre-
quently given in these amphitheaters without human aid, by the mere undermining of'
the rain, or perhaps it is here that Sisyphus rehearses his unending task. Often in the
silence of night some tremendou-s fragment has been heard crashing from terrace to terrace
with shocks like thunder peal.
The spectacle is so symmetrical, and so completely excludes the outside world and
its accustomed standards, it is with difficulty one can acquire any notion of its immensity.
THE TITAN OF CHASMS.
C. A. HIGGINS.
Were it half as deep, half as broad, it would be no less bewildering, so utterly does it
baffle human grasp.
THE TRIP TO THE RIVER.
Only by descending into the canyon may one arrive at anything like comprehension
of its proportions, and the descent cannot be too urgently commended to every visitor
who is sufficiently robust to bear a reasonable amount of fatigue. There are four paths
down the southern wall of the canyon in the granite gorge district — Bass, Bright Angel,
Grand View and Red Canyon trails. The following account of a descent of the
old Hance trail, near Grand View, will serve to indicate the nature of such an experience
to-day, except that the trip may now be safely made with greater comfort.
For the first two miles it is a sort of Jacob's ladder, zigzagging at an unrelenting
pitch. At the end of two miles a comparatively gentle slope is reached, known as the
blue limestone level, some 2,500 feet below the rim; that is to say — for such figures
have to be impressed objectively upon the mind — five times the height of St. Peter's,
the Pyramid of Cheops or the Strasburg Cathedral; eight times the height of the
Bartholdi Statue of Liberty; eleven times the height of Bunker Hill Monument.
ASCENDING BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL.
Fhoto, a. L. Rose
THE TITAN OF CHASMS. C. A. HIGGINS.
Looking back from this level the huge picturesque towers that border the rim shrink to
pigmies and seem to crown a perpendicular wall, unattainably far in the sky. Yet less
than one-half the descent has been made.
Overshadowed by sandstone of chocolate hue the way grows gloomy and foreboding,
and the gorge narrows. The traveler stops a moment beneath a slanting cliff 500 feet
high, where there is an Indian grave and pottery scattered about. A gigantic niche has
been worn in the face of this cavernous cliff, which, in recognition of its fancied Egyptian
character, was named the Temple of Sett by the painter, Thomas Moran.
A little beyond this temple it becomes necessary to abandon the animals. The river
is still a mile and a half distant. The way narrows now to a mere notch, where two
wagons could barely pass, and the granite begins to tower gloomily overhead, for we have
dropped below the sandstone and have entered the archean — a frowning black rock,
streaked, veined and swirled with vivid red and white, smoothed and polished by the
rivulet and beautiful as a mosaic. Obstacles are encountered in the form of steep inter-
posing crags, past which the brook has found a way, but over which the pedestrian must
clamber. After these lesser difficulties come sheer descents, which at present arc passed
by the aid of ropes.
The last considerable drop is a forty-foot bit by the side of a pretty cascade, where
there are just enough irregularities in the wall to give toe-hold. The narrowed cleft
becomes exceedingly wayward in its course, turning abruptly to right and left, and work-
ing down into twilight depths. It is very still. At every turn one looks to see the
embouchure upon the river, anticipating the sudden shock of the unintercepted roar of
waters. When at last this is reached, over a final downward clamber, the traveler stands
upon a sandy rift confronted by nearly vertical walls many hundred feet high, at whose
base a black torrent pitches in a giddying onward slide that gives him momentarily the
sensation of slipping into an abyss.
With so little labor may one come to the Colorado River in the heart of its most
tremendous channel, and gaze upon a sight that heretofore has had fewer witnesses than
have the wilds of Africa. Dwarfed by such prodigious mountain shores, which rise
immediately from the water at an angle that would deny footing to a mountain sheep, it is
not easy to estimate confidently the width and volume of the river. Choked by the
stubborn granite at this point, its width is probably between 250 and 300 feet, its velocity
fifteen miles an hour, and its volume and turmoil equal to the Whirlpool Rapids of
Niagara. Its rise in time of heavy rain is rapid and appalling, for the walls shed almost
instantly all the water thai falls upon them. Drift is lodged in the crevices thirty feet
For only a few hundred yards is the tortuous stream visible, but its effect upon the
senses is perhaps the greater for that reason. Issuing as from a mountain side, it slides
with oily smoothness for a space and suddenly breaks into violent waves that comb
back against the current and shoot unexpectedly here and there, while the volume sways
tide-like from side to side, and long curling breakers form and hold their outline length-
wise of the shore, despite the seemingly irresistible velocity of the water. The river is
laden with drift (huge tree trunks), which it tosses like chips in its terrible play.
Standing upon that shore one can barely credit Powell's achievement, in spite of its
absolute authenticity. Never was a more magnificent self-reliance displayed than by the
man who not only undertook the passage of Colorado River but won his way. And after
THE TITAN OF CHASMS.
C. A. HIGGINS.
viewing a fraction of the scene at close range, one cannot hold it to the discredit of three
of his companions that they abandoned the undertaking not far below this point. The
fact that those who persisted got through alive is hardly more astonishing than that any
should have had the hardihood to persist. For it could not have been alone the privation,
the infinite toil, the unending suspense in constant menace of death that assaulted their
courage; these they had looked for; it was rather the unlifted gloom of those tartarean
depths, the unspeakable horrors of an endless valley of the shadow of death, in which
every step was irrevocable.
Returning to the spot where the animals were abandoned, camp is made for the night.
Next morning the way is retraced. Not the most fervid pictures of a poet's fancy could
transcend the glories then revealed in the depths of the canyon; inky shadows, pale
gildings of lofty spires, golden splendors of sun beating full on fa9ades of red and yellow,
obscurations of distant peaks by veils of transient shower, glimpses of white towers half
drowned in purple haze, suffusions of rosy light blended in reflection from a hundred
tinted walls. Caught up to exalted emotional heights the beholder becomes unmindful
of fatigue. He mounts on wings. He drives the chariot of the sun.
THE LAST GLIMPSE.
Having returned to the plateau. It will be found that the descent into the canyon has
bestowed a sense of intimacy that almost amounts to a mental grasp of the scene. The
terrific deeps that part the walls of hundreds of castles and turrets of mountainous bulk
THB NORTH WALL FROM GRAND SCENIC DIVIDE.
Copyright 1899, by H. O. Peabody.
THE TITAN OF CHASMS.
C. A. HIGGINS.
may be approximately located in barely discernible pen-strokes of detail, and will be
apprehended mainly through the memory of upward looks from the bottom, while towers
and obstructions and yawning fissures that were deemed events of the trail will be wholly
indistinguishable, although they are known to lie somewhere flat beneath the eye. The
comparative insignificance of what are termed grand sights in other parts of the world is
now clearly revealed. Twenty Yosemites might lie unperceived anywhere below. Niagara,
that Mecca of marvel seekers, would not here possess the dignity of a trout stream. Your
companion, standing at a short distance on the verge, is an insect to the eye.
Still, such particulars cannot long hold the attention, for the panorama is the real
overmastering charm. It is never twice the same. Although you think you have spelt
out every temple and peak and escarpment, as the angle of sunlight changes there begins
a ghostly advance of colossal forms from the farther side, and what you had taken to be
the ultimate wall is seen to be made up of still other isolated sculptures, revealed now for
the first time by silhouetting shadows. The scene incessantly changes, flushing and
fading, advancing into crystalline clearness, retiring into slumberous haze.
Should it chance to have rained heavily in the night, next morning the canyon is
completely filled with fog. As the sun mounts, the curtain of mist suddenly breaks into
cloud fleeces, and while you gaze these fleeces rise and dissipate, leaving the canyon
bare. At once around the bases of the lowest clifi^s white pufi^s begin to appear, creating
a scene of unparalleled beauty as their dazzling cumuli swell and rise and their number
multiplies, until once more they overflow the rim, and it is as if you stood on some land's
end looking down upon a formless void. Then quickly comes the complete dissipation, and
again the marshaling in the depths, the upward advance, the total suffusion and the speedy
vanishing, repeated over and over until the warm walls have expelled their saturation.
Long may the visitor loiter upon the verge, powerless to shake loose from the charm,
tirelessly intent upon the silent transformations until the sun is low in the west. Then
the canyon sinks into mysterious purple shadow, the far Shinumo Altar is tipped with a
golden ray, and against a leaden horizon the long line of the Echo Cliffs reflects a soft
brilliance of indescribable beauty, a light that, elsewhere, surely never was on sea or
land. Then darknsss falls, and should there be a moon, the scene in part revives in
silver light, a thousand spectral forms projected from inscrutable gloom; dreams of
mountains, as in their sleep they brood on things eternal.
EARLY MORNING AT GRAND VIEW.
J. W, POWELL.
rHE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER.
BY J. W. POWELL.
The United States government was peculiarly fortunate in
the designation of the man who, before any of his fellows, was to
undertake the exploration of the Grand Canyon of Arizona.
Powell was the pioneer explorer. He combined the intrepid-
ity of the soldier with the enthusiasm of the scientist. It was a
journey down the great unknown. His daring startled his
countrymen. Best of all, he opened to the world of science new
fields for research. Later, he commanded several purely geologic
expeditions, and his invaluable contributions have become classic.
Both by reason of his pioneer passage of the Colorado and
his contributions to science, Major Powell's name is indissolubly
linked with that of the Grand Canyon.
Major Powell, at the time of his death, was the Director of
the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C, and
the following article was especially prepared by him for this publication:
THE FIRST EXPLORERS.
■« HE Pueblo of Zuni stands alone. The early Spanish explorers who penetrated
from Mexico northward into what is now the territory of the United States
dignified a group of villages in the region of Zuni as the "Seven Cities of
Cibola." There were wonders enough in the new world to kindle the imagi-
nation into a blaze that illumined everything with the light of exaggeration, and
the little rude stone villages of the savages were published to the world as great cities.
Early in 1540 an expedition set forth from Compostela, a town about 6° west of what
is now the City of Mexico, to explore the regions far to the north in search of cities and
gold. Alvar Nuiiez, a priest, had wandered for years on the most romantic journey ever
made in America. He went from Florida northward, then westward, and ultimately
southward until he reached Mexico. In the main he traveled in the capacity of a priest-
doctor, and his advent was heralded from tribe to tribe, for his presence was usually made
welcome and sometimes eagerly sought.
Alvar Nunez told the Spaniards in Mexico of the peoples he had encountered and the
cities he had seen, and, though his account was not exaggerated, yet the fervid imagination
of the Spaniards and their prodigious greed for gold soon caused them to organize an
expedition to this country. Coronado was its leader, a commander of great capacity, who
wandered far to the north and then to the east as far as the mouth of the Republican
River in eastern Kansas, then turning westward he at last recrossed what is now called
the Rio Grande del Norte and discovered the Seven Cities of Cibola. Of these cities
only Zuni remains. The fact that it is one of those cities was proved by Cushing.
When Alvar Nunez approached Zuni one of his companions was killed; this was Steven
—a Barbary negro; and Cushing found these Zuni Indians still recounting the story of
the death of Steven as one of the most important episodes in their history. Through
the genius of Cushing the fame of Zuni has spread throughout the world, for what he
committed to writing future generations will read with delight.
In the villages round about, the Spaniards were told of a mighty river and giant people
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. J. W. POWELL.
living in the west. Garcia Lopez was instructed by Coronado to take a party of men
v/ith Indian guides to verify these reports. His authority for exploration was extended
to eighty days. He started August the 25th and within the term of his authority he
succeeded in reaching the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. Thus what is now
popularly known as the Grand Canyon of Arizona was discovered by Europeans.
THE IVES AND WHEELER EXPEDITIONS.
In the fall of 1857 Lieut. Ives, of the engineer corps of the army, ascended the
Colorado River on a trip of exploration with a little steamer called the Explorer; he
went as far as the mouth of the Rio Virgin. Falling back down river a few miles,
Lieut. Ives met a pack train which had followed him up the bank of the stream. Here
he disembarked, and on the 24th of March started with a land party to explore the
eastern bank of the river; making a long detour he ascended the plateau through which
the Grand Canyon is cut, and in an adventurous journey he obtained views of the canyon
along its lower course. On this trip J. S. Newberry was the geologist, and to him we are
indebted for the first geological explanation of the canyon and the description of the
high plateau through which it is formed. Dr. Newberry was not only an able geologist,
but he was also a graphic writer, and his description of the canyon as far as it was seen
by him is a classic in geology.
In 1869 Lieut. Wheeler was sent out by the chief engineer of the army to explore
the Grand Canyon from below. In the spring he succeeded in reaching the mouth of
Diamond Creek, which had previously been seen by Dr. Newberry in 1858. Mr. Gilbert
was the geologist of this expedition, and his studies of the canyon region during this and
subsequent years have added greatly to our knowledge of this land of wonders.
MAJOR POWELL'S SEVERAL TRIPS.
In this same year I essayed to explore the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, together
with the upper canyons of that stream and the great canyons of the lower portion of
Green River. For this purpose I employed four rowboats and made the descent from
what is now Green River station through the whole course of canyons to the mouth of
the Rio Virgin, a distance of more than a thousand miles.
In the spring of 1870 I again started with three boats and descended the river to the
Crossing of the Fathers, where I met a pack train and went out with a party of men to,
explore ways down into the Grand Canyon from the north, and devoted the summer, fall,
winter and following spring to this undertaking.
In the summer of 187 1 I returned to the rowboats and descended through Marble
Canyon to the Grand Canyon of Arizona, and then through the greater part of the
Grand Canyon itself. Subsequent years were then given to exploration of the country
adjacent to the Grand Canyon. On these trips Mr. Gilbert, the geologist who had been
with Lieut. Wheeler, and Capt. C. E. Dutton, were my geological companions. On the
second boat trip, and during all the subsequent years of exploration in this region,
Prof. A. H. Thompson was my geographical companion, assisted by a number of topo-
In 1882 Mr. C. D. Walcott, as my assistant in the United States Geological Survey,
went with me into the depths of the Grand Canyon. We descended from the summit
of the Kaibab Plateau on the north by a trail which we built down a side canyon in a
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER.
J. W. POWELL.
direction toward the mouth of the Little Colorado River. The descent was made in the
fall, and a small party of men was left with Mr. Walcott in this region of stupendous
depths to make a study of the geology of an important region of labyrinthian gorges.
Here, with his party, he was shut up for the winter, for it was known when we left him
that snows on the summit of the plateau would prevent his return to the upper region
before the sun should melt them the next spring. Mr. Walcott is now the Director of
the United States Geological Survey.
After this year I made no substantial additions to my geologic and scenic knowledge
of the Grand Canyon, though I afterward studied the archaeology to the south and east
throughout a wide region of ruined pueblos and cliff dwellings.
Since my first trip in boats many others have essayed to follow me, and year by year
such expeditions have met with disaster; some hardy adventurers are buried on the
banks of the Green and the graves of others are scattered at intervals along the course
of the Colorado.
In 1889 the brave F. M. Brown lost his life. But finally a party of railroad
engineers, led by R. B. Stanton, started at the head of Marble Canyon and made their
way down the river as they extended a survey for a railroad along its course.
Other adventurous travelers have visited portions of the Grand Canyon region,
and Mr. G. Wharton James has extended his travels widely over the region in the
interest of popular science and the new literature created in the last decades of the
nineteenth century. And now I once more return to a reminiscent account of the Grand
Canyon, for old men love to talk of the past.
THE PLATEAU REGION.
The Grand Canyon of Arizona and the Marble Canyon constitute one great gorge
carved by a mighty river through a high plateau.
On the northeast and north a line of
A TURN OF THE TRAIL AT BRIGHT ANGEL.
Photo, a. L. Roue.
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. J. W. POWELL.
cliffs face this plateau by a bold escarpment of rock. Climb these cliffs and you must
ascend from 800 to 1,000 feet, but on their summit you will stand upon a plateau stretch-
ing away to the north. Now turn to face the south and you will overlook the cliff and
what appears to be a valley below. From the foot of the cliff the country rises to the
south to a great plateau through which the Marble and the Grand canyons are carved.
This plateau terminates abruptly on the west by the Grand Wash Cliffs, which is a
high escarpment caused by a "fault" (as the geologist calls it), that is, the strata of sand-
stone and limestone are broken off, and to the west of the fracture they are dropped down
several thousand feet, so that standing upon the edge of the plateau above the Grand
Wash Cliffs you may look off to the west over a vast region of desert from which low
volcanic mountains rise that seem like purple mounds in sand-clad lands.
On the east the great plateau breaks down in a very irregular way into the valley of
the Little Colorado, and where the railroad ascends the plateau from the east it passes
over picturesque canyons that run down into the Little Colorado. On the south the
plateau is merged into the great system of mountains that stand in southern Arizona.
Where the plateau ends and the mountains begin is not a well-defined line. The plateau
through which the Grand Canyon is cut is a region of great scenic interest. Its surface
is from six to more than eight thousand feet above the level of the sea. The Grand
Plateau is composed of many subsidiary plateaus, each one having its own peculiar and
The Kaibab Plateau, to the northeast of the Grand Canyon, is covered with a pine
forest which is intercepted by a few meadows with here and there a pond or lakelet. It
is the home of deer and bear.
To the west is the Shinumo Plateau in which the Shinumo Canyon is carved; and
on the cliffs of this canyon and in the narrow valley along its course the Shinumo ruins
are found — the relics of a prehistoric race.
To the west of the Shinumo Plateau is the Kanab Plateau, with ruins scattered over
it, and on its northern border the beautiful Mormon town of Kanab is found, and the
canyon of Kanab Creek separates the Shinumo Plateau from the Kanab Plateau. It
begins as a shallow gorge and gradually increases in depth until it reaches the Colorado
River itself, at a depth of more than 4,000 feet below the surface. Vast amphitheaters
are found in its walls and titanic pinnacles rise fram its depths. One Christmas day I
waded up this creek. It was one of the most delightful walks of my life, from a land
of flowers to a land of snow.
To the west of the Kanab Plateau are the Uinkaret Mountains — an immense group
of volcanic cones upon a plateau. Some of these cones stand very near the brink of
the Grand Canyon and from one of them a flood of basalt was poured into the canyon
itself Not long ago geologically, but rather long when reckoned in years of human
history, this flood of lava rolled down the canyon for more than fifty miles^ filling it to
the depth of two or three hundred feet and diverting the course of the river against
one or the other of its banks. Many of the cones are of red cinder, while sometimes the
lava is piled up into huge mountains which are covered with forests. To the west of the
Uinkaret Mountains spreads the great Shiwits Plateau, crowned by Mount Dellenbough.
Past the south end of these plateaus runs the Colorado River; southward through
Marble Canyon and in the Grand Canyon, then northwestward past the Kaibab and
Shinumo Canyon, then southwestward past the Kanab Plateau, Uinkaret Mountains to
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. J. IV. POWELL.
the southernmost point of the Shiwits Plateau and then northwestward to the Grand Wash
Cliffs. Its distance in this course is little more than 300 miles — but the three hundred
miles of river are set on every side with cliffs, buttes, towers, pinnacles, amphitheaters,
caves and terraces, exquisitely storm-carved and painted in an endless variety of colors.
The plateau to the south of the Grand Canyon, which we need not describe in parts,
is largely covered with a gigantic forest. There are many volcanic mountains and many
treeless valleys. In the high forests there are beautiful glades with little stretches of
meadow which are spread in summer with a parterre of flowers of many colors. This
upper region is the garden of the world. When I was first there bear, deer, antelope
and wild turkeys abounded, but now they are becoming scarce. Widely scattered
throughout the plateau are small canyons, each one a few miles in length and a few
hundred feet in depth. Throughout their course cliff-dweller ruins are found. In the
highland glades and along the valley, pueblo ruins are widely scattered, but the strangest
sights of all the things due to prehistoric man are the cave dwellings that are dug in
the tops of cinder cones and the villages that were built in the caves of volcanic cliffs. If
now I have succeeded in creating a picture of the plateau I will attempt a brief descrip-
tion of the canyon.
THE ROMANCE OF A MORMON.
Go with me to the mouth of the Paria River, at the head of Marble Canyon; for
this is continuous with the Grand Canyon. The river cuts the great plateau into two
unequal parts, the larger one to the north. A little glen two or three miles above the
mouth of the Paria has become historic ground, for it was for several years the resort and
hiding place of a man who is famous in the history of Utah, whom I met as I wandered
up this canyon valley on my second exploring trip to the region.
When a mile or two above the mouth of the Paria, in making a turn around the
cliff, I was surprised to see a little rude stone house, and as I approached it a woman
opened the door and hastily reappeared with a gun in her hand. She was quickly followed
by a man, also with a gu>n. In a threatening attitude they came out to meet me; being
unarmed myself I spoke to them by bidding them good-day and making some pleasant
remark, but not until I had heard the woman say to the man, "Don't shoot, he's all
right." I entered into a conversation with them and they invited me to eat melons,
which I did with gusto, and we parted with expressions of good will — for they seemed
very much interested in my explorations and came down to the river to see me off.
In subsequent years I renewed the acquaintance and learned their history. This was
John D. Lee and his wife Emma. John D. Lee is well known as a man who was
executed for the part he took in the Mountain Meadow Massacre. I need not say
more of him than that he was a man of very remarkable character, exceedingly devout
and willing to die for the Mormon religion, for which, from the standpoint of his friends,
he fell a martyr.
His wife was a convert to the religion of the Latter Day Saints in England, or
perhaps in Wales, and came to this country as a Mormon immigrant. She was a member
of a party that went from the Missouri River to Salt Lake with handcarts. She was an
athlete, and as she expressed it to me at one time, she could "whip her weight in wild-
cats" — a figure of speech which she got from the Mormon pioneers. She speedily
developed great skill in the use of the rifle, and on the march she was detailed with the
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER.
J. W. POWELL,
hunters to kill game, such as buffalo, antelope, deer, sheep and the many game-birds
found on the plains, and her success as a hunter relieved her of the toil of pushing a cart.
On reaching Salt Lake City she became one of the wives of John D. Lee and went with
him on missionary work to the frontier settlements, where she lived to some extent among
the Indians. Subsequently she fled with her husband into the depths of the canyon
region. This was after the Mountain Meadow Massacre was investigated by the general
government, and the pair naturally went for prudential reasons. After his surrender she
was true to him in his imprisonment, and wrote him letters of encouragement and received
letters from him. Some time after his death she married a ranchman from southern
California who brought a herd of horses into the valley of the Paria. With him she
migrated to Arizona, where the pair kept a boarding house for men who were building the
Atlantic & Pacific Railroad.
Finally they settled at Holbrook and built a hotel. When I was there last she was
still keeping the hotel, but the majestic woman with piercing eyes and beautiful form —
the herculean Venus — was now older and somewhat corpulent.
Above the Paria the great river runs down a canyon which it has cut through one
plateau. On its way it flows with comparative quiet through beautiful scenery, with
glens that are vast amphitheaters which often overhang great springs and ponds of water
deeply embosomed in the cliffs. From the southern escarpment of this plateau the great
Colorado Plateau rises by a comparatively gentle acclivity, and Marble Canyon starts
A BRIEF REST, BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL.
Photio, a. L. Bom.
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. , J. W. POWELL.
with walls but a few score feet in height until they reach an altitude of about five thousand
feet. On the way the channel is cut into beds of rock of lower geologic horizon, or
greater geologic age. These rocks are sandstones and limestones. Some beds are very
hard, others are soft and friable. The friable rocks wash out and the harder rocks
remain projecting from the walls, so that every wall presents a set of stony shelves.
These shelves rise along the wall toward the south as new shelves set in from below.
In addition to this shelving structure the walls are terraced and the cliffs of the
canyon are set back one upon the other. Then these canyon walls are interrupted by
side streams which themselves have carved lateral canyons, some small, others large, but
all deep. In these side gorges the scenery is varied and picturesque; deep clefts are seen
here and there as you descend the river — clefts furnished with little streams along which
mosses and other plants grow. At low water the floor of the great canyon is more or
less exposed, and where it flows over limestone rocks beautiful marbles are seen in many
colors; saffron, pink, and blue prevail. Sometimes a fa9ade or wall appears rising ver-
tically from the water for thousands of feet. At last the canyon abruptly ends in a
confusion of hills beyond which rise towering cliffs, and the group of hills are nestled in the
bottom of a valley-like region which is surrounded by cliffs more than a mile in altitude.
THE GRAND CANYON.
From here on for many miles the whole character of the canyon changes. First a
dike appears; this is a wall of black basalt; crossing the river it is of lava thrust up
from below through a huge crevice broken in the rock by earthquake agency. On
the east the Little Colorado comes; here it is a river of salt water, and it derives its
salt a few miles up the stream. The main Colorado flows along the eastern and south-
ern wall. Climbing this for a few hundred feet you may look off toward the northwest
and gaze at the cliffs of the Kaibab Plateau.
This is the point where we built a trail down a side canyon where Mr. Walcott was to
make his winter residence and study of the region; it is very complicated and exhibits a
vast series of unconformable rocks of high antiquity. These lower rocks are of many
colors; in large part they are shales. The region, which appears to be composed of
bright-colored hills washed naked by the rain, is in fact beset with a multitude of winding
canyons with their own precipitous walls. It is a region of many canyons in the depths
of the Grand Canyon itself.
In this beautiful region Mr. Walcott, reading the book of geology, lived in a sum-
merland during all of a long winter while the cliffs above were covered with snow which
prevented his egress to the world. His companions, three young Mormons, longing for a
higher degree of civilization, gazed wistfully at the snow-clad barriers by which they were
enclosed. One was a draughtsman, another a herder of his stock and the third his cook.
They afterward told me that it was a long winter of homesickness and that months
dragged away as years, but Mr. Walcott himself had the great book of geology to read
and to him it was a winter of delight.
A half dozen miles below the basaltic wall the river enters a channel carved in 800
or a thousand feet of dark gneiss of very hard rock. Here the channel is narrow and
very swift and beset with rapids and falls. On the south and southwest the wall rises
abruptly from the water to the summit of the plateau for about 6,000 feet, but across
the river on the north and west mountains of gneiss and quartzites appear, sometimes
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. J. W. POWELL.
rising to the height of a thousand feet. These are mountains in the bottom of a canyon.
The buttes and plateaus of the inter-canyon region are composed of shales, sandstones
and limestones, which give rise to vast architectural shelving and to pinnacles and
towers of gigantic proportions, the whole embossed with a marvelously minute system of
fretwork carved by the artistic clouds. Looking beyond these mountains, buttes and
plateaus — vistas of the walls of the great plateau are seen. From these walls project
salients and deep re-entrant angles appear.
The whole scene is forever reminding you of mighty architectural pinnacles and
towers and balustrades and arches and columns with lattice work and delicate carving.
All of these architectural features are sublime by titanic painting in varied hues — pink,
red, brown, lavender, gray, blue and black. In some lights the saffron prevails, in other
lights vermilion, and yet in other lights the grays and blacks predominate. At times,
and perhaps in rare seasons, clouds and cloudlets form in the canyon below and wander
among the side canyons and float higher and higher until they are dissolved in the upper
air, or perhaps they accumulate to hide great portions of the landscape. Then through
rifts in the clouds vistas of Wonderland are seen. Such is that portion of the canyon
around the great south bend of the Colorado River past the point of the Kaibab Plateau.
.AS SEEN BY THE GEOLOGIST.
In the last chapter of my book entitled "The Canyons of the Colorado" I have
described the Grand Canyon in the following terms:
The Grand Canyon is a gorge 217 miles in length, through which flows a great river
with many storm-born tributaries. It has a winding way, as rivers are wont to have.
Its banks are vast structures of adamant, piled up in forms rarely seen in the mountains.
Down by the river the walls are composed of black gneiss, slates and schists, all
greatly implicated and traversed by dikes of granite. Let this formation be called the
black gneiss. It is usually about 800 feet in thickness.
Then over the black gneiss are found 800 feet of quartzites, usually in very thin beds
of many colors, but exceedingly hard, and ringing under the hammer like phonolite.
These beds are dipping and unconformable with the rocks above. While they make
but 800 feet of the wall or less they have a geologic thickness of 12,000 feet. Set up
a row of books aslant; it is ten inches from the shelf to the top of the line of books, but
there may be three feet of the books measured directly through the leaves. So these quartz-
ites are aslant, and though of great geologic thickness they make but 800 feet of the wall.
Your books may have many-colored bindings and difi-er greatly in their contents; so
these quartzites vary greatly from place to place along the wall, and in many places they
entirely disappear. Let us call this formation the variegated quartzite.
Above the quartzites there are 500 feet of sandstones. They are of a greenish hue,
but are mottled with spots of brown and black by iron stains. They usually stand in a
bold cliff\, weathered in alcoves. Let this formation be called the cliff sandstone.
Above the cliff sandstone there are 700 feet of bedded sandstones and limestones,
which are massive sometimes and sometimes broken into thin strata. These rocks are
often weathered in deep alcoves. Let this formition be called the alcove sandstone.
Over the alcove sandstone there are 1,600 feet of limestone, in many places a beautiful
marble, as in Marble Canyon. As it appears along the Grand Canyon it is always stained
a brilliant red, for immediately over it there are thin seams of iron, and the storms have
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER,
J. W. POWELL.
painted these limestones with pigments from above. Altogether this is the red-wall
group. It is chiefly limestone. Let it be called the red-wall limestone.
Above the red wall there are 800 feet of gray and bright red sandstone, alternating
in beds that look like vast ribbons of landscape. Let it be called the banded sandstone.
And over all, at the top of the wall, is the Aubrey limestone, 1,000 feet in thickness.
This Aubrey has much gypsum in it, great beds of alabaster that are pure white in
comparison with the great body of limestone below. In the same limestone there are
enormous beds of chert, agates and cornelians. This limestone is especially remarkable
for its pinnacles and towers. Let it be called the tower limestone.
These are the elements with which the walls are constructed, from black buttress
below to alabaster tower above. All of these elements weather in different forms and are
painted in different colors, so that the wall presents a highly complex fa9ade. A wall of
homogeneous granite, like that in the Yosemite, is but a naked wall, whether it be 1,000
or 5,000 feet high. Hundreds and thousands of feet mean nothing to the eye when
they stand in a meaningless front. A mountain covered by pure snow 10,000 feet high
has but little more effect on the imagination than a mountain of snow 1,000 feet high —
it is but more of the same thing — but a fa9ade of seven systems of rock has its sublimity
Fhoto, W, U. Simpson.
AT HOPI (ROWE's) point.
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. J. W. POWELL.
Consider next the horizontal elements of the Grand Canyon. The river meanders
in great curves, which are themselves broken into curves of smaller magnitude. The
streams that head far back in the plateau on either side come down in gorges and break
the wall into sections. Each lateral canyon has a secondary system of laterals, and the
secondary canyons are broken by tertiary canyons; so the crags are forever branching,
like the lim.bs of an oak. That which has been described as a wall is such only in its
grand effect. In detail it is a series of structures separated by a ramification of canyons,
each having its own walls. Thus, in passing down the canyon it seems to be inclosed by
walls, but oftener by salients — towering structures that stand between canyons that run
back into the plateau. Sometimes gorges of the second or third order have met before
reaching the brink of the Grand Canyon, and then great salients are cut off from the wall
and stand out as buttes — huge pavilions in the architecture of the canyon. The scenic
elements thus described are fused and combined in very different ways.
We measured the length of the Grand Canyon by the length of the river running
through it, but the running extent of wall cannot be measured in this manner. In the
black gneiss, which is at the bottom, the wall may stand above the river for a few hun-
dred yards or a mile or two; then to follow the foot of the wall you must pass into a
lateral canyon for a long distance, perhaps miles, and then back again on the other side
of the lateral canyon; then along by the river until another lateral canyon is reached,
which must be headed in the black gneiss. So for a dozen miles of river through the
gneiss there may be a hundred miles of wall on either side. Climbing to the summit of
the black gneiss and following the wall in the variegated quartzite, it is found to be
stretched out to a still greater length, for it is cut with more lateral gorges. In like
manner there is yet greater length of the mottled (or alcove) sandstone wall, and the red
wall is still farther stretched out in ever branching gorges.
To make the distance for ten miles along the river by walking along the top of the
red wall it would be necessary to travel several hundred miles. The length of the wall
reaches its maximum in the banded sandstone, which is terraced more than any of the
other formations. The tower limestone wall is less tortuous. To start at the head of
the Grand Canyon on one of the terraces of the banded sandstone and follow it to
the foot of the Grand Canyon, which by river is a distance of 217 miles, it would be
necessary to travel many thousand miles by the winding way; that is, the banded wall is
many thousand miles in length.
AS SEEN BY THE ARTIST.
The traveler in the region of mountains sees vast masses piled up in gentle declivities
to the clouds. To see mountains in this way is to appreciate the masses of which they
are composed. But the climber among the glaciers sees the elements of which this mass
is composed- -that it is made of cliffs and towers and pinnacles, with intervening gorges,
and the smooth billows of granite seen from afar are transformed into cliffs and caves
and towers and minarets.
These two aspects of mountain scenery have been seized by painters, and in their art
two classes of mountains are represented; mountains with towering forms that seem
ready to topple in the first storm, and mountains in masses that seem to frown defiance
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER.
y. W. POWELL,
at the tempests. Both classes have told the truth. The two aspects are sometimes
caught by our painters severally; sometimes they are combined. Church paints a
mountain like a kingdom of glory. Bierstadt paints a mountain cliff where an eagle is
lost from sight ere he reaches the summit. Thomas Moran marries these great character-
istics, and in his infinite masses, cliffs of immeasurable height are seen.
Thus the elements of the fa9ade of the Grand Canyon change vertically and horizon-
tally. The details of structure can be seen only at close view, but grand effects of
structure can be witnessed in great panoramic scenes. Seen in detail, gorges and preci-
pices appear; seen at a distance, in comprehensive views, vast massive structures are
presented. The traveler on the brink looks from afar and is overwhelmed with the sub-
limity of massive forms; the traveler among the gorges stands in the presence of awful
mysteries — profound, solemn and gloomy.
AS SEEN TRAVELING DOWN STREAM.
For eight or ten miles below the mouth of the Little Colorado, the river is in the
variegated quartzites, and a wonderful fretwork of forms and colors, peculiar to this
Photo, Putnam tt Valentine,
CAMP IN COCONINO FOREST, NEAR POIXT SUBLIME.
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER.
y. W. POWELL.
rock, stretches back for miles to a labyrinth of the red-wall cliff; then below, the black
gneiss is entered and soon has reached an altitude of 800 feet and sometimes more than
1,000 feet, and upon this black gneiss all the other structures in their wonderful colors
are lifted. These continue for about seventy miles, when the black gneiss below is lost,
for the walls are dropped down by the West Kaibab Fault and the river flows in
Then for eighty miles the mottled (or alcove) sandstones are found in the river bed.
The course of the canyon is a little south of west and is comparatively straight. At the
top of the red-wall limestone there is a broad terrace, two or three miles in width, com-
posed of hills of wonderful forms carved in the banded beds, and back of this is seen a
cliff in the tower limestone. Along the lower course of this stretch the whole character
of the canyon is changed by another set of complicating conditions. We have now
reached a region of volcanic activity. After the canyons were cut nearly to their present
depth, lavas poured out and volcanoes were built on the walls of the canyon, but not in
the canyon itself, though at places rivers of molten rock rolled down the walls into the
The canyon for the next eighty miles is a compound of that found where the river is
in the black gneiss and that found where the dead volcanoes stand on the brink of
THE VIEW EAST FROM HOPI (rOWE's) POINT.
Fkoto, V/. H. Simpson,
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. J. W. POWELL,
the wall. In the first stretch, where the gneiss is at the fiaundation, we have a great
bend to the south, and in the last stretch, where the gneiss is below and the dead volca-
noes above, another great southern detour is found. These two great beds are separated
by eighty miles of comparatively straight river.
Let us call this first great bend the Kaibab reach of the canyon, and the straight part
the Kanab reach, for the Kanab Creek heads far off in the plateau to the north and joins
the Colorado at the beginning of the middle stretch. The third great southern bend is
the Shiwits stretch. Thus there are three distinct portions of the Grand Canyon : The
Kaibab section, characterized more by its buttes and salients; the Kanab section, charac-
terized by its comparatively straight walls with volcanoes on the brink, and the Shiwits
section, which is broken into great terraces with gneiss at the bottom and volcanoes at
THE WORK OF EROSION.
The erosion represented in the canyons, although vast, is but a small part of the
great erosion of the region, for between the cliffs blocks have been carried away far supe-
rior in magnitude to those necessary to fill the canyons. Probably there is no portion of
the whole region from which there have not been more than a thousand feet degraded,
and there are districts from which more than 30,000 feet of rock have been carried away,
altogether there is a district of country more than 200,000 square miles in extent,
from which, on the average, more than 6,000 feet have been eroded. Consider a rock
200,000 square miles in extent and a mile in thickness, against which the clouds have
hurled their storms, and beat it into sands, and the rills have carried the sands into the
creeks, and the creeks have carried them into the rivers, and the Colorado has carried
them into the sea.
We think of the mountains as forming clouds about their brows, but the clouds have
formed the mountains. Great continental blocks are upheaved from beneath the sea by
internal geologic forces that fashion the earth. Then the wandering clouds, the tempest-
bearing clouds, the rainbow-decked clouds, with mighty power and with wonderful skill,
carve out valleys and canyons and fashion hills and cliffs and mountains. The clouds
are the artists sublime.
WINTER AND CLOUD EFFECTS.
In winter some of the characteristics of the Grand Canyon are emphasized. I'he
black gneiss below, the variegated quartzite, and the green or alcove sandstone form the
foundation for the mighty red wall. The banded sandstone entablature is crowned by
the tower limestone. In winter this is covered with snow. Seen from below, these
changing elements seem to graduate into the heavens, and no plane of demarcation
between wall and blue firmament can be seen. The heavens constitute a portion of the
facade and mount into a vast dome from wall to wall, spanning the Grand Canyon with
empyrean blue. So the earth and the heavens are blended in one vast structure.
When the clouds play in the canyon, as they often do in the rainy season, another set
of effects is produced. Clouds creep out of canyons and wind into other canyons.
The heavens seem to be alive, not moving as move the heavens over a plain, in one
direction with the wind, but following the multiplied courses of these gorges. In this
manner the little clouds seem to be individualized, to have wills and souls of their own
THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER. J. W. POWELL.
and to be going on diverse errands — a vast assemblage of self-willed clouds, faring here
and there, intent upon purposes hidden in their own breasts. In imagination the clouds
belong to the sky, and when they are in the canyon the skies come down into the gorges
and cling to the cliffs and lift them up to immeasurable heights, for the sky must still be
far away. Thus they lend infinity to the walls.
A WORLD OF FORM, COLOR AND MUSIC.
The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of
speech nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their
powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combined must
fail. The elements that unite to make the Grand Canyon the most sublime spectacle in
nature are multifarious and exceedingly diverse.
Besides the elements of form there are elements of color, for here the colors of the
heavens are rivaled by the colors of the rocks. The rainbow is not more replete with hues.
But form and color do not exhaust all the divine qualities of the Grand Canyon. It
is the land of music. The river thunders in perpetual roar, swelling in floods of music
when the storm gods play upon the rocks, and fading away in soft and low murmurs when
the infinite blue of heaven is unveiled. With the melody of the great tide rising and
falling, swelling and vanishing forever, other melodies are heard in the gorges of the
lateral canyons, while the waters plunge in the rapids among the rocks or leap in great
cataracts. Thus the Grand Canyon is a land of song. Mountains of music swell in the
rivers, hills of music billow in the creeks and meadows of music murmur in the rills that
ripple over the rocks. Altogether it is a symphony of multitudinous melodies. All this
is the music of waters. The adamant foundations of the earth have been wrought into a
sublime harp, upon which the clouds of the heavens play with mighty tempests or with
The glories and the beauties of form, color and sound unite in the Grand Canyon —
forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span
the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop, from cataract to bubbling fountain.
But more — it is a vast district of country. Were it a valley plain it would make a
state. It can be seen only in parts from hour to hour and from day to day and from
week to week and from month to month. A year scarcely suffices to see it all.
It has infinite variety and no part is ever duplicated. Its colors, though many and
complex at any instant, change with the ascending and declining sun; lights and shadows
appear and vanish with the passing clouds and the changing seasons mark their passage
in changing colors.
You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from
which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month
through its labyrinths. It is a region more difficult to traverse than the Alps or the
Himalayas, but if strength and courage are sufficient for the task, by a year's toil a con-
cept of sublimity can be obtained never again to be equaled on the hither side of paradise.
THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD.
BY CHARLES F. LUMMIS.
Mr. Lummis is editor of the Out West magazine at Los
Angeles. He writes books that are read. Volumes like "The
Land of Poco Tiempo" and "Strange Corners of Our Country"
reveal a man who really knows our immense Southwest from
having lived its strenuous life, and who can therefore adequately
interpret its deserts and mountains, its people and their customs.
He says what he thinks, and thinks his own thoughts in his
own way. And the "way" is that of Anglo-Saxon directness.
We listen, even if we dissent. Usually we are convinced, but
Soon after leaving Harvard he walked from Chillicothe, Ohio,
to Los Angeles, following for the most part, the Old Santa Fe
CHARLES F. LUMMIS. frail. His experiences are vividly told in his volume "A
Tramp Across the Continent." His journeys on foot have embraced Old Mexico,
South America and every interesting corner, known and unknown, of the semi-arid region.
Every Pueblo Indian in New Mexico and Arizona is his friend. He has lived
among them, studied them, encouraged them, and best of all, has been to them an
example of right living and fair treatment. Lummis' most notable characteristic is his
intense Americanism. He believes in America for Americans. Knowing this great
Southwest, he has always pleaded to have the tide of eager tourists turn toward it as an
Mr. Lummis' account of the greatest thing in the world is here first printed:
THE SOUTHWESTERN WONDERLAND.
HE greatest thing in the world." That is a large phrase and an overworked
one, and hardened travelers do not take it lightly upon the tongue. Noticeably
it is most glibly in use with those but lately, and for the first time, wandered
beyond their native state or county, and as every province has its own local
brag of biggest things, the too credulous tourist will find a superlative every-
where. And superlatives are unsafe without wide horizons of comparison.
Yet in every sort there is, of course, somewhere "the biggest thing in the world" of
its kind. It is a good word, when spoken in season and not abused in careless ignorance.
I believe there is and can be no dispute that the term applies literally to several
things in the immediate region of the Grand Canyon of Arizona. As I have more than
once written (and it never yet has been controverted), probably no other equal area on
earth contains so many supreme marvels of so many kinds — so many astounding sights,
so many masterpieces of Nature's handiwork, so vast and conclusive an encyclopedia of
the world-building processes, so impressive monuments of prehistoric man, so many
triumphs of man still in the tribal relation — as what I have called the Southwestern
Wonderland. This includes a large part of New Mexico and Arizona, the area which
geographically and ethnographically we may count as the Grand Canyon region. Let
me mention a few wonders:
The largest and by far the most beautiful of all petrified forests, with several hundred
square miles whose surface is carpeted with agate chips and dotted with agate trunks two
FROM KAIBAB PLATEAU, LOOKING SOUTH.
Photo, Putnam it Valentine.
THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD. C. F. LUMMIS.
to four feet in diameter; and just across one valley a buried "forest" whose huge silici-
fied — not agatized — logs show their ends under fifty feet of sandstone.
The largest natural bridge in the world — 200 feet high, over 500 feet span and over
600 feet wide, up and down stream and with an orchard on its top and miles of stalactite
caves under its abutments.
The largest variety and display of geologically recent volcanic action in North
America; with sixty-mile lava flows, 1,500-foot blankets of creamy tufa cut by scores of
canyons; hundreds of craters and thousands of square miles of lava beds, basalt and
cinders, and so much "volcanic glass" (obsidian) that it was the chief tool of the pre-
The largest and the most impressive villages of cave-dwellings in the world, most of
them already abandoned "when the world-seeking Genoese" sailed.
The peerless and many-storied cliff-dwellings — castles and forts and homes in the
face of wild precipices or upon their tops — an aboriginal architecture as remarkable as
any in any land.
The twenty-six strange communal town republics of the descendants of the "cliff--
dwellers," the modern Pueblos; some in fertile valleys, some (like Acoma and Moki)
perched on barren and dizzy cliffy tops. The strange dances, rites, dress and customs of
this ancient people who had solved the problem of irrigation, six-story house building
and clean self-government and even women's rights — long before Columbus was born.
The noblest Caucasian ruins in America, north of Mexico — the great stone and adobe
churches reared by Franciscan missionaries, near three centuries ago, a thousand miles
from the ocean, in the heart of the Southwest.
Some of the most notable tribes of savage nomads — like the Navajos, whose blankets
and silver work are pre-eminent, and the Apaches, who, man for man have been
probably the most successful warriors in history.
All these, and a great deal more, make the Southwest a wonderland without a parallel.
There are ruins as striking as the storied ones along the Rhine, and far more remarkable.
There are peoples as picturesque as any in the Orient, and as romantic as the Aztecs and
the Incas of whom we have learned such gilded fables, and there are natural wonders
which have no peers whatever.
OF THE CANYON, AND OTHER WONDERS.
At the head of the list stands the Grand Canyon of the Colorado; whether it is the
"greatest wonder of the world" depends a little on our definition of "wonder." Possibly
it is no more wonderful than the fact that so tiny a fraction of the people who confess
themselves the smartest in the world have ever seen it. As a people we dodder abroad
to see scenery incomparably inferior.
But beyond peradventure it is the greatest chasm in the world, and the most superb.
Enough globe-trotters have seen it to establish that fact. Many have come cynically
prepared to be disappointed; to find it overdrawn and really not so stupendous as
something else. It is, after all, a hard test that so be-bragged a wonder must endure
under the critical scrutiny of them that have seen the earth and the fullness thereof.
But I never knew the most self-satisfied veteran traveler to be disappointed in the Grand
Canyon, or to patronize it. On the contrary, this is the very class of men who
can best comprehend it, and I have seen them fairly break down in its awful presence.
THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD. C. F. LUMMIS.
I do not know the Himalayas except by photograph and the testimony of men who
have explored and climbed them, and who found the Grand Canyon an absolutely new
experience. But I know the American continents pretty well, and have tramped their
mountains, including the Andes — the next highest mountains in the world, after half a
dozen of the Himalayas — and of all the famous quebradas of the Andes there is not one
that would count five per cent on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. For all their
25,000-foot peaks, their blue-white glaciers, imminent above the bald plateau, and green
little bolsones ("pocket valleys") of Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador; for all their tre-
mendous active volcanoes, like Saugay and Cotopaxi; for all an earthquake activity
beside which the "shake" at Charleston, was mere paper-doll play; for all the steepest
gradients in the world (and Peru is the only place in the world where a river falls 17,000
feet in 100 miles) — in all that marvelous 3,000-mile procession of giantism there is not
one canyon which any sane person would for an instant compare with that titanic gash
that the Colorado has chiseled through a comparatively flat upland. Nor is there any-
thing remotely approaching it in all the New World. So much I can say at first hand.
As for the Old World, the explorer who shall find a gorge there one-half as great will
win undying fame.
The quebrada of the Apu-Rimac is a marvel of the Andes, with its vertiginous
depths and its supension bridge of wild vines. The Grand Canyon of the Arkansas, in
Colorado, is a noble little slit in the mountains. The Franconia and White Mountain
notches in New Hampshire are beautiful. The Yosemite and the Yellowstone canyons
surpass the world, each in its way. But if all of these were hung up on the opposite
wall of the Grand Canyon from you the chances are fifty to one that you could not tell
t'other from which, nor any of them from the hundreds of other canyons which rib that
vast vertebrate gorge. If the falls of Niagara were installed in the Grand Canyon between
your visits and you knew it by the newspapers — next time you stood on that dizzy rim-
rock you would probably need good field-glasses and much patience before you could locate
that cataract which in its place looks pretty big. If Mount Washington were plucked
up bodily by the roots — not from where you see it, but from sea-level — and carefully
set down in the Grand Canyon, you probably would not notice it next morning, unless
its dull colors distinguished it in that innumerable congress of larger and painted giants.
All this, which is literally true, is a mere trifle of what might be said in trying to fix
a standard of comparison for the Grand Canyon. But I fancy there is no standard
adjustable to the human mind. You may compare all you will — eloquently and from
wide experience, and at last all similes fail. The Grand Canyon is just the Grand Canyon,
and that is all you can say. I never have seen anyone who was prepared for it. I never
have seen anyone who could grasp it in a week's hard exploration; nor anyone, except
some rare Philistine, who could even think he had grasped it. I have seen people rave
over it; better people struck dumb with it; even strong men who cried over it; but I
have never yet seen the man or woman that expected it.
It adds seriously to the scientific wonder and the universal impressiveness of this
unparalleled chasm that it is not in some stupendous mountain range, but in a vast, arid,
lofty floor of nearly 100,000 square miles — as it were, a crack in the upper story of the
continent. There is no preparation for it. Unless you had been told, you would no
more dream that out yonder amid the pines the flat earth is slashed to its very bowels,
than you would expect to find an iceberg in Broadway. With a very ordinary running
THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD.
C. F. LUMMIS.
jump from the spot where you get your first ghmpse of the canyon vou could go down
2,000 feet without touching. It is sudden as a well.
But it is no mere cleft. It is a terrific trough 6,000 to 7,000 feet deep, ten to twenty
miles wide, hundreds of miles long, peopled with hundreds of peaks taller than any
mountain east of the Rockies, yet not one of them with its head so high as your feet,
and all ablaze with such color as no eastern or European landscape ever knew, even in
the Alpen-glow, And as you sit upon the brink the divine scene-shifters give you a
new canyon every hour. With each degree of the sun's course the great countersunk
mountains we have been watching fade away, and new ones, as terrific, are carven by the
westering shadows. It is like a dissection of the whole cosmogony. And the purple
shadows, the dazzling lights, the thunderstorms and snowstorms, the clouds and the
rainbows that shift and drift in that vast subterranean arena below your feet! And
amid those enchanted towers and castles which the vastness of the scale leads you to call
"rocks," but which are in fact as big above the river-bed as the Rockies from Denver,
and bigger than Mount Washington from Fabyan's or the GlenJ
The Grand Canyon country is not only the hugest, but the most varied and instruc-
tive example on earth of one of the chief factors of earth-building — erosion. It is the
mesa country — the Land of Tables. Nowhere else on the footstool is there such an
example of deep-gnawing water or of water high-carving. The sandstone mesas of the
Southwest, the terracing of canyon walls, the castellation, battlementing and cliff-making,
the cutting down of a whole landscape except its precipitous islands of flat-topped rock,
the thin lava table-cloths on tables 100 feet high — these are a few of the things which
make the Southwest wonderful alike to the scientist and the mere sight-seer.
That the canyon is not "too hard" is perhaps sufficiently indicated by the fact that I
have taken thither ladies and children and men in their seventies, when the easiest way
to get there was by a seventy-mile stage ride, and that at six years old my little girl
walked all the way from rim to bottom of canyon and came back on a horse the same
day, and was next morning ready to go on a long tramp along the rim.
THE END OF THE TRAIL, BRIGHT ANGEL.
A GASH IN NATURE'S BARED BREAST.
BY JOHN L. STODDARD.
For eighteen years Mr. John L. Stoddard's illustrated lectures
on travel, art and scenery were attended by large audiences. He
fostered a love for our native land, particularly the southwest
corner of it, and was the chief prophet of a new school of travel
whereby one may sit in a cushioned chair and see the world and
all that therein is. A Stoddard lecture was the next best thing
to taking the trip for one's self
The enthusiasm of the man, his wide learning, his keen
observation, his infinite painstaking and his poetic temperament,
all contributed to the success which crowned his efforts.
At last tiring of platform work, Mr. Stoddard arranged with
Balch Bros. Co., Boston, to publish his lectures. From one
JOHN L. STODDARD. of thc volumes of thc series the following extracts concerning
the Grand Canyon are made by kind permission of the publishers and the author. For
the last few years Mr. Stoddard has been traveling in Europe. His visit to the canyon
was made in 1897, accompanied by several Santa Fe officials, also by Mr. W. H. Jackson,
the scenic artist, and Mr. Andrew McNally, the publisher.
HE Grand Canyon of Arizona is Nature wounded unto death and lying stiff
and ghastly, with a gash 200 miles in length and a mile in depth in her bared
breast, from which is flowing fast a stream of life-blood called the Colorado.
Many grand objects in the world are heralded by sound; the solemn music of
Niagara, the roar of active geysers in the Yellowstone, the intermittent thunder
of the sea upon a rocky coast, are all distinguishable at some distance, but over the Grand
Canyon of the Colorado broods a solemn silence. No warning voice proclaims its close
proximity; no partial view prepares us for its awful presence. ''' * *
The globe itself seemed to have suddenly yawned asunder, leaving me trembling on
the hither brink of two dissevered hemispheres. Vast as the bed of a vanished ocean,
deep as Mount Washington, riven from its apex to its base, the grandest canyon on our
planet lay glittering below me in the sunlight like a submerged continent, drowned by
an ocean that had ebbed away. At my very feet, so near that I could have leaped at
once into eternity, the earth was cleft to a depth of 6,600 feet — not by a narrow gorge
like other canyons, but by an awful gulf within whose cavernous immensity the forests
of the Adirondacks would appear like jackstraws, the Hudson Palisades would be
an insignificant stratum, Niagara would be indiscernible, and cities could be tossed
SERMONS IN STONE.
In every direction I beheld below me a tangled skein of mountain ranges, thousands
of feet in height, which the Grand Canyon's walls enclosed as if it were a huge sarcopha-
gus holding the skeleton of an infant world. It is evident, therefore, that all the other
canyons of our globe are, in comparison with this, what pygmies are to a giant, and that
A GASH IN NATURES BARED BREAST. JOHN L. STODDARD.
the name Grand Canyon, which is often used to designate some relatively insignificant
ravine, should be in truth applied only to the stupendous earth-gulf of Arizona. ''' '^' '^'
Though the greater part of the population of the world could be assembled here, one
sees no worshipers, save an occasional devotee of Nature, standing on the canyon's rim,
lost in astonishment and hushed in awe. These temples were, however, never intended
for a human priesthood. A man beside them is a pygmy. His voice here would be
little more effective than the chirping of an insect. The God-appointed celebrant, in
the cathedrals of this canyon, must be Nature. Her voice alone can rouse the echoes of
these mountains into deafening peals of thunder. Her metaphors are drawn from an
experience of ages. Her prayers are silent, rapturous communings with the Infinite.
Her hymns of praise are the glad songs of birds; her requiems^ are the meanings of the
pines; her symphonies the solemn roaring of the winds. "Sermons in stone" abound at
every turn; and if, as the poet has affirmed, "an undevout astronomer is mad," with
still more truth can it be said that those are blind who in this wonderful environment
look not "through Nature up to Nature's God." * * *
SEEN IN THE MORNING.
To stand upon the edge of this stupendous gorge as it receives its earliest greeting
from the god of day, is to enjoy in a moment compensation for long years of ordinary
uneventful life. When I beheld the scene, a little before daybreak, a lake of soft, white
Copyright, 1899, by H. O. Peabody.
ACROSS THE CANYON FROM GRAND VIEW.
A GASH IN NATURES BARED BREAST. JOHN L. STODDARD.
clouds was floating round the summits of the canyon mountains, hiding the huge crevasse
beneath, as a light coverlet of snow conceals a chasm in an Alpine glacier. I looked with
awe upon this misty curtain of the morn, for it appeared to me symbolic of the grander
curtain of the past which shuts out from our view the awful struggles of the elements
enacted here when the grand gulf was being formed. At length, however, as the light
increased, this thin, diaphanous covering was mysteriously withdrawn and when the sun's
disk rose above the horizon, the huge facades of the temples which looked eastward
grew immediately rosy with the dawn; westward, projecting cliffs sketched on the oppo-
site sides of the ravines, in dark blue silhouettes, the evanescent forms of castles,
battlements, and turrets from which some shreds of white mist waved like banners of
capitulation; stupendous moats beneath them were still black with shadow; while clouds
filled many of the minor canyons, like vapors rising from enormous caldrons. Gradually,
as the solar couriers forced a passage into the narrow gullies and drove the remnant of
night's army from its hiding-places, innumerable shades of purple, yellow, red and brown
appeared, varying according to the composition of the mountains, and the enormous void
was gradually filled to the brim with a luminous haze, which one could fancy was the
smoke of incense from its countless altars. '•' "•' '■'
A descent into the canyon is essential for a proper estimate of its details, and one can
W^ ^ »_,ig- -«..-— .-^
ON GRAND VIEW POINT.
Copyright, 1899, by II. 0. Peabody.
A GASH IN NATURES BARED BREAST. JOHN L. STODDARD.
never realize the enormity of certain cliffs and the extent of certain valleys till he has
crawled like a maimed insect at their base and looked thence upward to the narrowed sky.
Yet such an investigation of the canyon is, after all, merely like going down from a
balloon into a great city to examine one of its myriad streets, since any gorge we may
select for our descending path is but a tiny section of a labyrinth. That which is unique
and incomparable here is the view from the brink. * •'' '^
It is only when one stands beside a portion of this lonely river and sees it shooting
stealthily and swiftly from a rift in the titanic cliffs and disappearing mysteriously
between dark gates of granite, that he realizes what a heroic exploit the first navigation
of this river was; for nothing had been known of its imprisoned course through this
entanglement of chasms, or could be known, save by exploring it in boats, so difficult of
access were, and are, the two or three points where it is possible for a human being to
reach its perpendicular banks. Accordingly, when the valiant navigators sailed into these
mysterious waters they knew that there was almost every chance against the possibility
of a boat's living in such a seething current, which is, at intervals, punctured with a multi-
tude of tusk-like rocks, tortured into rapids, twisted into whirlpools or broken by falls;
while in the event of shipwreck they could hope for little save naked precipices to cling
to for support. All honor, then, to Powell and his comrades. * * *
A LAST VIEW.
On my last evening in the pine tree camp I left my tent and walked alone to the edge
of the Grand Canyon. The night was white with the splendor of the moon. A shim-
mering lake of silvery vapor rolled its noiseless tide against the mountains and laved the
terraces of the Hindu shrines. The lunar radiance, falling into such profundity, was
powerless to reveal the plexus of subordinate canyons, and even the temples glimmered
through the upper air like wraiths of the huge forms which they reveal by day. Advancing
cautiously to an isolated point upon the brink, I lay upon my face and peered down
into the spectral void. No voice of man, nor cry of bird, nor roar of beast resounded
through those awful corridors of silence. Even thought had no existence in that sunken
realm of chaos. I felt as if I were the sole survivor of the deluge. Only the melan-
choly murmur of the wind ascended from that sepulchre of centuries. It seemed the
requiem for a vanished world. * * *
PLATEAU OVERLOOKING RIVER, FOOT OF BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL.
ROB T BREWSTER STANTON.
ENGINEERING IN THE DEPTHS OF THE
BY ROBERT BREWSTER STANTON.
In the front rank of Grand Canyon explorers stands Robert
Brewster Stanton. Twenty years after Powell's exploration of
the Colorado, Stanton the engineer, unheralded, headed a party
formed for the purpose of making the survey of a railway from
Grand Junction to the Gulf of Cahfornia. Disaster and death
followed the first expedition.
Undaunted, Stanton six months later, fully equipped, renewed
the attempt. Complete success rewarded his efforts. After. a
journey lasting four and one-half months he reached tide water in the
Gulf of California, and Stanton is the only explorer who has made
a continuous journey down the entire length of the Colorado.
His contribution to progress was little less than Powell's.
His mission demanded all the exacting characteristics which
make up the quality of the pioneer. He combined the exact knowledge of his profession
with great personal bravery, keen observation and indomitable energy.
The following article, fresh from his pen, vivid and eloquent, shows that the memo-
ries of thrilling adventures and the majesty of this "Titan of Chasms" are still with him.
HAVE often thought if the traveler on our great transcontinental railways but
knew something of the arduous labors of those who prepared for him the luxury
and comfort of modern travel, he might think with kindly feeling of the pioneers
— the civil engineers — who made it possible to open up the wonders of our
great western empire through and beyond the Rockies, and who, in so many
instances, while blazing the way, laid down their very lives that he might travel in
veritable palaces to an^ fro through the land.
It has been my fortune to do some part of this pioneer work in the Far West during the
past thirty-five years, beginning with the survey of the Atlantic & Pacific Railway, now
a part of the Santa Fe system. Few travelers on the luxurious California Limited, as
they branch off to take a look at the wonders of the Grand Canyon of Arizona,
remember that some twelve years ago a railway was projected to run along the bottom
of that deep gorge, and few know, perhaps, what it cost in hardships and in lives to
make the reconnoissance and preliminary survey.
As you stand on the brink of some overhanging cliff at the canyon's rim and look
down thousands of feet into its depths, let me repeat some of the experiences of our
journey along that "little silver thread" as it looks to you from where you stand, and yet
when reached is a wild, raging, roaring torrent, which with its 520 rapids, falls and cataracts,
is a pathway terrible to contemplate and much more so to ride upon in a frail boat.
Previous to this time, May, 1889, no party had traversed these canyons except Major
J. W. Powell in 1869, and no one had ever made a continuous journey along the waters
of this river from its head to its mouth.
Our first expedition was organized by Mr. Frank M. Brown, the president of the
railway company when I took charge as chief engineer. The boats were bought and
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON. R. B. STANTON.
shipped to the river. These boats were entirely unfit for the work to be done, and at
once in Cataract Canyon our troubles began.
We had lost much of our store of provisions by the upsetting of our boats while
running the rapids — boats that were too light and too frail to stand the rough usage of
such waters. It was necessary to go on short rations. On June 15 another accident
had sunk to the bottom of the river all of our provisions except a sack and a half of
flour, a little coffee, sugar and condensed milk. The flour was immediately baked into
bread without either salt or yeast, and the food divided equally among the men. The
men became alarmed and nearly all wished to quit. Feeling sure that we could carry on
the work to Dandy Crossing with what food we had, I determined not to leave without
an effort to complete the survey. Four of my men volunteered to remain. Six days we
toiled on with a small piece of bread, a little coffee and milk for our morning and evening
meal, and three lumps of sugar and as much river water as we wished at noon, until we
met one of our boats with some of the men who had left, bringing us provisions. Our
trip through Glen Canyon as far as Lee's Ferry was but a pleasant summer outing.
Below Lee's Ferry, Ariz., are the Marble and the Grand canyons — together, and in
reality one canyon nearly 300 miles in length.
A DISASTROUS ENTERPRISE.
On the morning of July 9 we started with a little party of eight and three boats,
into the wondrous depths of the "Great Unknown." The first day's run was made
without danger, with two heavy portages around the rapids at Badger and Soap creeks,
and we camped that night at the foot of Soap Creek rapid. After breakfast we were
again on the river in very swift water. President Brown's boat with himself and
McDonald was ahead. In two minutes we were at the next rapid. Just as my boat
dashed into the head of it I saw McDonald running up the bank waving both arms.
We had, for a few moments, all we could do to manage our own boat. It was but a
moment. We were through the rapid, and turning out into the eddy I heard McDonald
shout, "Mr. Brown is in there." I looked to the right but saw nothing. My boat
turning to the left dashed through the whirlpool as the notebook, which Mr. Brown
always carried, shot to the surface of the water and we picked it up as we passed.
Brown's boat was but a half minute ahead of mine, but in turning out into the eddy
an upshooting wave between the main current and the whirlpool upset it without a
moment's warning. Brown was thrown into the whirlpool, while McDonald was thrown
into the current. McDonald, with great effort, reached the left bank some distance
below, but Brown in that awful whirlpool swimming round and round, unable to escape,
battled for his life till exhausted in the fight he sank, a hero and a martyr to what some
day will be a successful cause.
OBLIGED TO GIVE UP.
We had work to do and I determined, if possible, to complete the whole of that
work. With this intention we started out next morning and for three days pushed on,
shooting through or portaging round twenty-four bad rapids, getting deeper and deeper
between the marble walls.
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON.
R. B. STANTON
After a quiet rest on Sunday, Monday found us at the head of two very rough and
rocky rapids. We portaged both of them. The boats had then to go through the lower
end of the second rapid. The first boat got down with difficulty, as the current beat
hard against the left cliff. My boat was next to start. I pushed it out from shore
myself with a cheerful word to the men, Hansbrough and Richards. It was the last they
ever heard. The current drove them against the cliff under an overhanging shelf In
trying to push away from the cliff the boat was upset. Hansbrough was never seen to
rise. Richards, a powerful man, swam some distance down stream. The first boat started
out to the rescue, but he sank before it reached him. Two more faithful and good men
gone! Astonished and crushed by their loss, our force too small to portage our boats
and our boats entirely unfit for such work, I decided to abandon the trip, with then and
there a determination, as soon as new outfit could be secured, to return and complete our
journey to the Gulf.
THE SECOND EXPEDITION.
Omitting all the work of preparing our second expedition, it is sufficient to say we
returned to the river and started from the mouth of Crescent Creek, just above Dandy
Crossing, December lo, 1889, with an outfit of three splendid boats and twelve men.
I had provided the best cork life preservers for all the men and they were required to
Photo, W. n: Bass.
A STRETCH OF CALM WATER, THE COLORADO RIVER.
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON. R. B. STANTON.
wear them whenever they were upon the water. As it proved, these Hfe preservers saved
the Hfe of my assistant engineer, Mr. John Hislop, and my own hfe as well.
We passed through the Glen Canyon a second time; ate our Christmas dinner at
Lee's Ferry, and on December 28 started again into Marble Canyon. This canyon
seemed destined to give us trouble. On January i our photographer, Mr. Nims, fell
from a bench of the cliff, breaking one of his legs and receiving a severe jar. Space will
not permit of telling the difficulties and dangers of carrying the wounded man up and out
a side canyon, a vertical height of 1,700 feet, and forty miles back to Lee's Ferry, from
where later on he returned to Denver.
With much toil and danger to life and limb we reached the end of Marble Canyon, at
the mouth of the Little Colorado, on January 20 and slept that night in the Grand Canyon.
It is impossible in a few pages to do justice, in the smallest degree, to the great
gorge itself — "that sublimest thing on earth" — or to the perils and adventures of our
journey through it. What then shall we write?
WINTER IN THE GRAND CANYON.
It has been the fortune of but few to travel along the bottom of the great chasm for a
whole winter, while around you bloojn the sweet wild flowers, and southern birds sing on
almost every bush — and at the same time far above, among the upper cliffs, rage and roar
like demons in the air the grandest and most terrific storms of wind and snow and sleet
that I have ever witnessed, even above the clouds among the summit peaks of the
To be imprisoned between the great towering walls, the whole upper country
covered with its winter mantle of inhospitable snow, which hanging down hundreds of
feet over the rim and in the side gorges gives warning that the only way to escape is
over the hundreds of fearful rapids, falls and cataracts below, and through the only open
gate at the extreme western end; to dash into and over the huge waves at the head of
more than a hundred rapids with no knowledge that we would come out alive at the
lower end; to toil, to rest, to eat, to sleep for weeks, and for months beside the everlasting
roar of that raging torrent, — was an experience that even now brings up memories,
feelings and impressions that would require volumes to relate.
SHOOTING THE RAPIDS.
On our second expedition, with our new boats, we ran nearly all of the rapids and
portaged but few; over many of them our boats dashed and jumped at the rate of fifteen
to thirty miles per hour. To stand in the bow of one of these boats as she dashes
through a great rapid with first the bow and then the stern jumping into the air is an
excitement the fascination of which can only be understood through experience.
Starting into the head of one rapid the speed given to the boat by the oarsmen to gain
steerageway carried us over the first and second smooth waves so fast that as the boat
rose to the top of the last it had not time to turn down, but went on, up and up, and
shot clean out into the air, jumping over to and dropping with a tremendous crash upon
the third wave. Again, while going over another fall our boat, after passing the crest of
the second wave and turning down, did not rise upon the third wave at all but dove
clearly under it, filling completely with water, but thanks to its ten air-tight compartments
it in an instant rose to the surface and went safely through the whole rapid.
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON
R. B. STANTON
A TRIBUTE TO HISLOP.
Besides the rocks, the great dangers in running these rapids are the immense whirl-
pools and eddies on their sides. To miss the channel in the least and turn the bow of
the boat into one or either of these means such a sudden checking of the bow that the
stern is whipped round like a shot. It was the bad luck of my assistant engineer, John
Hislop, to be thus whipped off his seat while steering my boat and be dashed some
'fifteen feet away and dropped among the largest waves. His cork jacket kept him afloat,
and overtaking him, he climbed into the boat again before we reached the end of the rapid.
And just here let me pay a tribute of respect to that noble man. A true friend, a noble
gentleman, a gallant knight. God bless his memory, for I loved him!
It seems the irony of fete that John Hislop, having passed through the perils and
hardships of all these great canyons, having braved the rigors of three almost Arctic
winters in the Klondyke, and as first assistant chief engineer having to his credit the
building of the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, should be crushed to death beneath the
wheels of a suburban train in the city of Chicago while on his bridal trip.
AN EXCITING RIDE.
Just below Kanab Wash, in the very heart of the Grand Canyon, we enjoyed what
proved to be the wildest ride we had upon the river — the canyon so narrow, the turns
quick and sharp, the current rushing, first one side and then on the other, forming whirl-
pools, eddies, and chutes (for the river by a sudden flood had risen some twelve feet).
Vupyright, JMU, by II. O. Peabody.
ONE VIEW FROM HOPI (rOWE's) POINT.
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON
R. B. STANTON
Our boats caught first in one and then in the other; now spun round like leaves in the
wind, then shot far to the right or left almost against the wall; now caught in a mighty
roll, and first carried to the top of the great waves and then dropped into the trough of
the sea with a force almost sufficient to take away one's breath. Many times we nar-
rowly escaped being carried over the rapids before we could examine them, making
exciting landings by pulling close to shore, with bow up stream, rowing hard to partially
check our speed, while one man jumped with a line to a ledge of rocks and held on for
his life, and ours, too. At last we round a sharp turn and see a roaring, foaming rapid
below, and as we come in full view of it we are caught in the mighty roll of flood waves.
We try to pull out to an eddy — it is all in vain; we cannot cross such a current. We
must go down over the rapid without examining it. When we find we cannot stop, with
great effort we straighten the boats round and enter in good shape, bow on. It lasts but
a moment; the cross current strikes us and we go broadside over the worst part of the
rapid. Crouched down in the bottom, it is as much as we can do to keep from being
tossed out as the boats roll from wave to wave. They are entirely unmanageable, and
as we strike the whirlpools below we are spun round like tops some fifty times or more,
till finally, at the end of the rapid, our little boats float into an eddy as quietly and
gracefully as swans.
Some days later, on March i, 1890, we reached the mouth of Diamond Creek.
BASS FERRY, FOOT OF BASS TRAIL.
Photo, F. H. Maude.
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON. R. B. STANTON.
THE BEAUTY OF THE GREAT GORGE.
Even in the most dangerous parts of the canyon, between the most powerful rapids,
are stretches of perfectly calm water, especially at the low-water season. After the
exciting dash through the rapids it was a relief to our nerves to rest on our oars and
float slowly along. It was then that we had the time to study those awe-inspiring
scenes of grandeur and beauty that can be seen nowhere else upon the face of the globe.
After passing the awful grandeur of the upper granite gorge and that enchanting spot,
the mouth of the Bright Angel Creek, the canyon grows more beautiful and picturesque.
The granite has lost its awful and threatening look and slopes back in beautiful hillsides
of variegated black, gray and green.
At the side canyons and from the bends of the river the upper portions of the whole
gorge are brought into view, showing the great marble and sandstone cliffs benched back
far away from the river. Mountains jut in close between the side canyons and washes
nearly a mile and a quarter in height and by a delusion, most startling in its effect, seem
to be hanging over our very heads. As we peacefully sail along the smooth stretches
between the rapids each turn brings some wonderful picture more beautiful than the last.
Look yonder down the river or up that side canyon with the placid waters, between
Its polished walls of black for a foreground, and see there rise above the dark sandstone
shelf that caps the granite gorge tier upon tier, bench upon bench, stepping back farther
and farther and higher and higher, and in their immensity of height and proportion
seeming to tower almost over our heads.
But look again! Those terrifying, frowning walls are moving, are changing ! A new
light is not only creeping over them, but is coming out from their very shadows. See
those flattened slopes above the dark sandstone on top the granite; even at this very
moment they are being colored in gorgeous stripes of horizontal layers of yellow, brown,
white, green and purple.
What means this wondrous change? Wherein lies this secret of the great canyon?
IT IS A LIVING SPIRIT.
After living in it aiid with it for so many weeks and months I lost all thought of the
great chasm as being only a huge rock mass, carved into its many intricate forms by ages
of erosion. It became to me, what it has ever since remained and what it really is — a
living, moving, sentient being!
The Grand Canyon is not a solitude. It is a living, moving, pulsating being, ever
changing in form and color, pinnacles and towers springing into being out of unseen
depths. From dark shades of brown and black, scarlet flames suddenly flash out and
then die away into stretches of orange and purple. How can such a shifting, animated
glory be called "a thing?" It is a being, and among its upper battlements, its temples,
its amphitheaters, its cathedral spires, its arches and its domes, and in the deeper recesses
of its inner gorge its spirit, its soul, the very spirit of the living God himself lives and
moves and has its being.
Come with me toward eventide and sit on yon graven pinnacle, look across the chasm
to yonder wall, facing to the southwest. It extends for miles and miles in one unbroken,
uncarved, uncolored, uninteresting sheer precipice, dividing the glory and beauty of the
middle gorge from the unseen mysteries of the plateaus above.
But stop! Wnat is that dark object moving along the face of the wall? And beyond
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON. R.B. STANTON.
another, another, and still another far beyond. What is that scarlet point coming out
through the hazy sheen and touched by one ray of the setting sun? Wait but a moment
and the whole glory of the creation will be revealed to you.
Look now ! Where is that long sheer forbidding wall ? The dark shadows have
pushed back through its face and opened up great caverns and side gorges a mile in width
and half as deep. And what remains of the wall itself is carved in most intricate and
wondrous forms of arches, alcoves, buttresses and towers. And before it where but an
hour ago was only a misty haze now stand temples, domes, monuments and spires,
grander and more sublime than ever the mind of man could conceive, and clothed in
most gorgeous tints by the rays of the setting sun. For you and for me then this creation
is still going on, as it has been in reality for ages in the past.
BELOW DIAMOND CREEK.
Our expedition left Diamond Creek March 12 and completed the remaining fifty-
three miles of the canyon on March 17.
In this last section are some of the worst and most powerful rapids, number 465 being
perhaps the worst on the whole river. It is composed of three falls, in all, a drop of
thirty feet. The current turned from one side by large bowlders, dashes, after passing
over the first fall, against the left cliff, just at the head of the second fall, and is thrown
back with awful force, and as it meets the current from the right curls in angry waves
fifteen to twenty feet high, first from one side and then from another. From this the
whole current is thrown against the right wall as it curves out into the stream just at the
head of the third fall. (This is the rapid at which Major Powell's three men left him.)
It took but a few moments of examination to see that there was no way to get our
boats or supplies around this rapid. It must be run. There was no hesitation. Every
man went back to the boats and jumped in. They were soon ready for the plunge.
In a moment we were at the head of the first fall and over or through a half dozen
huge waves and approaching the second fall. As I looked down into that pit of fury I
wondered if it were possible for our boats to go through it and come out whole. I had
no time for a second thought. We were in the midst of the breakers. They lashed at
first one side and then the other, breaking far above our heads and half filled our boat.
For a second we were blinded by the dashing muddy water. In another second we were
through and out and right side up. I turned to see if the men were safe. They were all
in their places; but our boats, though right side up, had been turned quartering with the
current, and we were being carried with fearful force toward the right cliff. Every instant
I expected to be dashed against the cliff ahead, where the whole current of water was piled
up in one boiling mass against the solid granite; but just as I felt the last moment had
come, our sturdy Scotch helmsman, Hislop, gave the boat a sudden turn, and assisted by
the rebounding waves we went by the cliff and I shouted to the men: "That's good!
That's good! We are passed." But the words were hardly out of my mouth when as
we rounded the point of the third fall our boat, picked up bodily by a powerful side wave,
was dashed fully ten feet to the right, and it crashed into a rock which projected from the
shore, and stopped. We were all thrown forward. The boat filled with water, sank upon
the rock and stuck fast. Wave after wave in quick succession rolled over us. I tried
to straighten myself up, when a great wave struck me in the back and I was driven clean
out of the boat into the whirlpool below the rocks. The force of the blow knocked me
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON
R. B, STANTON.
insensible for a moment. But as I was drawn down the water closed around my head
and my consciousness returned, and as I was carried by that whirlpool down, down, down,
I wondered if I should ever reach the bottom of the river. The time seemed an age.
The river seemed bottomless. In a few moments I was caught as by two forces — one
around my legs and another around my back — and twisting in opposite directions, they
sent me whirling away and I was shot to the surface some fifty feet down the rapids from
where 1 went in. I caught my breath just in time to be carried under the next great
wave, coming out again in a lighter wave at the lower end of the rapids. Thanks to my
cork jacket I floated high above the water, but was carried along the swiftest part of the
current for near a half mile.
The next boat fared better than ours. She soon overtook me and two of the men
pulled me into the second boat almost as mercilessly as I was dashed from the first.
Finally we reached the Gulf of California, and returning overland to Yuma the
expedition was disbanded April 30, 1890.
Before we part let us take one last look at the beauty and the grandeur we may
never see again.
THE DRAMA OF THE DAWN.
If but one visit can be made to the Grand Canyon, there is only one position and one
time when any real understanding of its gorgeous beauty and the startling changes of its
spirit life can be acquired.
The time is from an hour before daylight to perhaps two or three hours after sunrise.
Cupyriuht, 1899, by H. Q. Peabody.
POINT DE LA OLLA.
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON. R. B. STANTON.
The position a templed butte somewhere about 4,000 feet above the river. Come with
me then to such a spot.
It is early in the month of February. For months we had been at the bottom of
the great gorge, with the towering, flaming walls above, and although among flowers and
green grass in the valley, had looked for weeks upon the huge banks of drifted snow
that fell over the rim rock. We had determined to climb the great north wall — reach,
if possible, the level of the snow and look down upon the chasm from above. Toward
evening we reached a point 4,000 feet above our camp on the river. It is growing late
and we prepare for the night — our blankets as light as the mountain air that drifts over
the snow banks above us, a huge pile of dry cedar, a crackling fire, some dry biscuit and
toasted bacon, but not a drop of water for thirty hours.
Long before the morning comes our sleep is ended. I sit by the edge of the marble
precipice, with my back to the fire, and look out upon the darkness of the night. The
whole great chasm is hushed in slumber, except for a half-hidden tremor and a sighing
breath that passes by as if the great being were troubled in his dreams. The mighty
river, shut in by the blackness of the deep, seems resting from its everlasting toil.
The flash from our fire lights up in ghastly red the sandstone wall above us, while
the many caverns, hundreds and thousands of feet below, lie like huge monsters resting
at the base of the clifi\, the ugly blackness of their fantastic forms but faintly shown by
the dim light of the morning stars.
Soon far out in the east, over among the towers and cloistered buttes of
Shiva's Temple, break the first faint rays of the coming day. Slowly the whole eastern
sky is lit up with a strange and curious light — not the gray of an Atlantic dawn, but a
pale blue that seems to mellow the rays of the rising sun as they flash through the
gray and yellow openings between the upper towers, turrets and cathedral spires of this
land of wonder and amazement. Yonder, lower down through that side gorge, the sun
has crept — crept so noiselessly, yet so suddenly, that one is startled at the wondrous
change. The farther side of the canyon is all aglow. The scarlet sandstone and dark
red marbles flash back the rosy light which, mingling with the hazy blue of the atmos-
phere, casts over the whole landscape a glamour that is known nowhere else.
Far to the north the great Kaibab Plateau, covered with pure white snow and fringed on
its edge with the bright green of the stately pines, is sparkling in the morning sun as if
covered with a diadem of myriads of clearest diamonds and decked with thousands of
perfect emerald plumes. To the south and west the vision is bounded by the same high
plateaus that lie north and south of the river. The whole landscape is a network of
caverns, gorges and ravines, and between them are towers, temples and buttes of every
form, dimension and design.
As the sun rises over the surrounding platform what a silent, curious change creeps over
the whole scene! The clear light of the sun streams through every opening. The eastern walls
of the temple buttes burn with almost living flame, and to the west are cast long shadows
so dark and so bold that it seems as if portions of the night itself had been left behind.
The whole lower canyon is still in solemn repose, but as the sun's light forces itself
down, the dark shadows steal away to hide themselves. At last the inner gorge wakes
from its night of slumber, and as shadow chases shadow and the bright sunlight leaps first
here and then there, now around a buttressed point, then into an alcove deep, the whole
scene is a moving panorama of light and shade and mingled tints of celestial beauty.
ENGINEERING IN THE GRAND CANTON
R. B, STANTON.
It is bewildering. The purplish blue of the atmosphere, though not of such a sleepy
haze as in the summer time, gradually turns into a steely gray as the sun rises higher
and higher, and the sharp lines of the cliffs that stood out so boldly at first are blended
in one indescribable mass of weird symmetry.
Behold! Across the canyon to the southwest, where the sun now shines In all his glory,
noble amphitheaters are opening up their many colored galleries to view. "Hundreds of
these mighty structures, miles in length and thousands of feet in height, rear their majestic
forms out of the abyss, displaying their richly molded plinths and friezes, thrusting out
their gables, wing walls, buttresses and pilasters, and recessed with alcoves and panels."
The architecture so grand, so bold, so wild, and yet grouped together with such
symmetry; and over all the outer and inner walls hung with so much grace those parti-
colored draperies, in such varied tints, is yet in such blended harmony that none save
He who first made and painted the lily and the rose could have been the artist or the
A morning on such a sculptured butte in the presence of such awful grandeur, while
slowly and noiselessly the darkness of night is changed into the beauty and solemnity of a
perfect day, is like standing on some new Mount of Transfiguration, where language
fails and description becomes impossible.
Copyright, 1899, by H. G. Peabody.
BISSELL POINT AND COLORADO RIVER.
ITS INEFFABLE BEAUTT.
BY HARRIET MONROE.
Miss Monroe is a resident of Chicago. She is a well-known
poet, essayist and journalist. Her writings are published in the
leading magazines of the country to the delight of many lovers
of good literature. Of compiled works the most notable are
"Valeria and Other Poems," "The Columbian Ode" and "John
Wellborn Root — A Memoir."
Miss Monroe visited the Grand Canyon in May, 1899. It
was a new and memorable experience. The telling of it reveals
to us a nature singularly responsive to the varied moods of this
titan of chasms. Her description is a rhapsody of the poetic,
physical and spiritual attributes of the Grand Canyon.
Miss Monroe's finest interpretation of the canyon appeared
in the Atlantic Monthly for December, 1899. When asked to
contribute an article for this book she sent, through the courtesy of Houghton, Mifflin
& Co., the following extracts therefrom:
OUT IN THE OPEN.
The earth grew bold with longing
And called the high gods down;
Yea, though ye dwell in heaven and hell,
I challenge their renown.
Abodes as fair I build ye
As heaven's rich courts of pearl.
And chasms dire where floods like fire
Ravage and roar and whirl.
Come, for my soul is weary
Of time and death and change;
Eternity doth summon me —
With mightier worlds I range.
Come, for my vision's glory
Awaits your songs and wings;
Here on my breast I bid ye rest
From starry wanderings.
I5F. were out in the open endless desert, the sunburned desolate waste. Our
four horses kicked up the dust of the road and the wind whirled it into our
faces and sifted it through our clothes. * * *
All the morning we had drifted through forests of tall pines and bare
white aspens, watching the changing curves of San Francisco Peaks, whose
lofty summits rose streaked with white against the blue, until at last as we rounded
its foothills the desert lay below us like a sea, and we descended to the magic shore and
took passage over the billows of silver and amethyst that foamed and waved beyond and
afar. '" ''' *
The immense and endless desolation seemed to efface us from the earth. What right
had we there on those lofty lands which never since the beginning of time had offered
sustenance to man? * ••'■ ''
We had left the nineteenth century behind; we were exploring the wilderness with the
pioneers. We were unaware of the road, of the goal; we were pushing out into the
unknown, buffeted by its denials, threatened by its wars, lured by its mysteries. The
desert lay behind us now; once more the quiet forest for miles on miles. So still and
sweet and sylvan were its smooth brown slopes; the tallest pines whose vision overtopped
their neighbors were all unsuspicious of nature's appalling and magnificent intention.
And we, we could not believe that the forest would not go on forever, even when vistas
ITS INEFFABLE BEAUTT. HARRIET MONROE.
of purple began to open through the trees, even when the log-cabin hotel welcomed us to
It was like sudden death — our passing round the corner to the other side of that
primitive inn; for in a moment we stood at the end of the world, at the brink of the king-
doms of peace and pain. The gorgeous purples of sunset fell into darkness and rose into
light over mansions colossal beyond the needs of our puny unwinged race. Terrific
abysses yawned and darkened; magical heights glowed with iridescent fire. The earth
lay stricken to the heart, her masks and draperies torn away, confessing her eternal pas-
sion to the absolving sun. And even as we watched and hearkened, the pitiful night lent
deep shadows to cover her majesty and hide its awful secrets from the curious stars.
A NEARER VIEW.
In the morning when I went out to verify the vision, to compass earth's revelation of
her soul, the sun fell to the very heart of the mystery, even from the depths rose a thrill
of joy. It was morning; I had slept and eaten; the fatigue and dust of the long journey
no longer oppressed me; my courage rose to meet the greatness of the world. The
benevolent landlady told of a trail which led to Point Lookout a mile and a half away,
beneath whose cliffs the old deserted inn lay in a hollow. * * *
So I followed along the quiet sylvan path, which led up and down little ravines and
dales, always under the shade of tall pines, always over the brown carpet of their needles.
* * * I passed the little silent lodge, with rough-hewn seats under the broad eaves of
its porch, its doors hospitably unlatched, its rooms still rudely furnished; but all dusty,
voiceless, forsaken. I climbed the steep slope to the rocks, crawled half prostrate to the
barest and highest, and lay there on the edge of the void, the only living thing in some
For surely it was not our world, this stupendous adorable vision. Not for human
needs was it fashioned, but for the abode of gods. It made a coward of me; I shrank and
shut my eyes and felt crushed and beaten under the intolerable burden of the flesh. For
humanity intruded here; in these warm and glowing purple spaces disembodied spirits
must range and soar. Souls purged and purified and infinitely daring. I felt keenly sure
of mighty presences among the edifices vast in scope and perfect in design that rose from
the first foundations of the earth to the lofty level of my jagged rock. Prophets and poets
had wandered here before they were born to tell their mighty tales — Isaiah and iEschylus
and Dante, the giants who dared the utmost. Here at last the souls of great architects
must find their dreams fulfilled; must recognize the primal inspiration which, after long
ages, had achieved Assyrian palaces, the temples and pyramids of Egypt, the fortresses
and towered cathedrals of mediaeval Europe. For the inscrutable Prince of builders had
reared these imperishable monuments, evenly terraced upward from the remote abyss, had
so cunningly planned them that mortal foot could never climb and enter to disturb the
everlasting hush. Of all richest elements they were fashioned — jasper and chalcedony,
topaz, beryl and amethyst, fire-hearted opal and pearl ; for they caught and held the most
delicate colors of a dream and flashed full recognition to the sun. Never on earth could
such glory be unveiled — not on level spaces of sea, not on the cold bare peaks of moun-
tains. This was not earth; for was not heaven itself across there, rising above yonder
alabaster marge in opalescent ranks for the principalities and powers? This was not
earth — I intruded here. Everywhere the proof of my unfitness abased and dazed my
ITS INEFFABLE BEAUTT. HARRIET MONROE .
will: this vast unviolated silence, as void of life and death as some new-born world; this
mystery of omnipotence revealed, laid bare, but incomprehensible to my weak imagining;
this inaccessible remoteness of depths and heights, from the sinuous river which showed
afar one or two tawny crescents curving out of impenetrable shadows, to the mighty tem-
ple of Vishnu which gilded its vast tower loftily in the sun. Not for me, not for human
souls, not for any form of earthly life was the secret of this unveiling. Who that breathed
could compass it?
THE BIRD SONG.
The strain of existence became too tense against these infinities of beauty and terror.
My narrow ledge of rock was a prison. I fought against the desperate temptation to fling
myself down into that soft abyss, and thus redeem the affront which the eager beating of my
heart offered to its inviolable solitude. Death itself would not be too rash an apology
for my invasion — death in those happy spaces, pillowed on purple immensities of air. So
keen was the impulse, so slight at that moment became the fleshly tie, that I might almost
have yielded but for a sudden word in my ear — the trill of an oriole from the pine close
above me. The brave little song was a message personal and intimate, a miracle of sym-
pathy or prophecy. And I cast myself on that tiny speck of life as on the heart of a
friend — a friend who would save me from intolerable loneliness, from utter extinction and
despair. He seemed to welcome me to the infinite; to bid me go forth and range therein,
and know the lords of heaven and earth who there had drunk the deep waters and taken
the measure of their souls. I made him the confidant of my unworthiness; asked him
for the secret, since, being winged, he was at home even here. He gave me healing and
solace; restored me to the gentle amenities of our little world; enabled me to retreat
through the woods as I came, instead of taking the swift dramatic road to liberty. * *
LIKE NOTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD.
As I grew familiar with the vision I could not quite explain its stupendous quality.
From mountain tops one looks across greater distances and sees range after range lifting
snowy peaks into the' blue. The ocean reaches out into boundless space, and the ebb and
flow of its waters have the beauty of rhythmic motion and exquisitely varied color. And
in the rush of mighty cataracts are power and splendor and majestic peace. Yet for
grandeur appalling and unearthly; for ineffable, impossible beauty, the canyon transcends
all these. It is as though to the glory of nature were added the glory of art; as though,
to achieve her utmost, the proud young world had commanded architecture to build for
her and color to grace the building. The irregular masses of mountains, cast up out of
the molten earth in some primeval war of elements, bear no relation to these prodigious
symmetrical edifices mounted on abysmal terraces and grouped into spacious harmonies
which give form to one's dreams of heaven. The sweetness of green does not last for-
ever, but these mightily varied purples are eternal. All that grows and moves must
perish, while these silent immensities endure. Lovely and majestic beyond the cunning
of human thought, the mighty monuments rise to the sun as lightly as clouds that pass.
And forever glorious and forever immutable, they must rebuke man's pride with a vision
of ultimate beauty and fulfill earth's dream of rest after her work is done.
A NEW WONDER OF THE WORLD.
BY JOAQUIN MILLER.
In the Overland Monthly, March, 1901, Joaquin Miller
writes of his visit to the canyon of canyons. By permission of
the publishers a portion of that article is reproduced below. It
is the noted poet's latest word concerning earth's greatest tragedy.
Those who have read the "Songs of the Sierras" or have
heard Joaquin Miller tell of his adventures in the Rockies, need
not be reminded of his undying love for the great out-of-doors
country beyond the Missouri. In it he has wandered so long
that it is a part of his very life. From such a man the testi-
mony that this is the "grandest work of God," is more than a
chance utterance; it is the deliberate conviction of one who feels
the spirit back of Nature, and who having seen the vision, is
impelled to put it in words of fire.
THE WORLD'S PAINT SHOP.
T is old, old, this Grand Canyon, and yet so new it seems almost to smell of
paint — red paint, pink, scarlet. Left and right, up and down, more than half
a mile deep in the earth, every shade and hue of red, as far as eye can compass.
It is a scene of death-like silence, a dead land of red, a burning world. We
have Arroyo Grande in California, the Yosemite Canyon also. Idaho, Wash-
ington, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, each and all have their grand canyon, yet there
is only one Grand Canyon on the globe, Canon Grande de Colorado, the burning hues
of which gave name to a great river and, centuries later, to a great state.
It is written that the Spanish cavalier and explorer, in quest of the seven cities of gold,
pushed the prow of his boat so far into the waters of this fearful chasm of colors that on
looking up at midday he could see the stars; and it is written that overcome with reli-
gious awe, fearing perhaps that he was daring to approach the gates of Paradise before his
time, he raised the cross, bared his head, gave this color world its name and drew back
and away, to come again no more. But still the tradition was that at least one of the cities
of gold lay within and under the protection of these fearful walls of flaming red. * * '''
A SABRE THRUST IN EARTH'S BOSOM.
This canyon, or sabre thrust in the rich red bosom of Mother Earth, is 217 miles
long and more than 5,000 feet deep. It is very tortuous and of almost uniform splendor
— glory, terror, as you please to term it. A National Reserve, sixty by sixty miles, cov-
ers the major part of its magnificence.
We approached the precipitous red sides from the south, where the narrow granite gorge
of the smaller river is more narrow, yet almost as deep, and is comparatively colorless, as
I remember it. Yet the absence of sunlight in its fearful and narrow depths may have
much to do with the absence of color. We were fortunate enough to find a storm raging
at sudden intervals at our feet, in the greater canyon, fifteen miles wide, perhaps, and
more than half a mile deep. The interrupted battles of the elements roared far below us,
and all the time, as far as eye could reach, the white clouds curled, drifted, drooped, died,
then rose again. * * *
A NEW WONDER OF THE WORLD. JOAQUIN MILLER.
The thunder at intervals was fearfully impressive. We felt at one time that the
temples, towers and battlements of red which burst here and there above the thunder
clouds must be crumbled to dust, so terrible was the tumult. The lightning almost
continually wrote the autograph of God on and through the clouds at our feet. But when
the clouds would part and pass for a time and stillness and sunlight come again, all would
be as before.
Here, at a dozen times that day and for the first time in my life, I saw a rainbow in
a circle, a complete and perfect circle. Years later I saw the phenomenon in the Hawai-
ian Islands, where I was told it counted nothing so very strange. On inquiry here at
the red lips of the Grand Canyon, in these early days of June, I find that the circular
rainbow is no new thing. Indeed, dozens have been here with their cameras watching
for a storm, in the hope of photographing this halo of the heavens. The nearest I have
been able to get to this wonder is a few white clouds resting lazily in the red world below.
Yet it is not all red here. The dim ruin of the remote side of the canyon is a perpendic-
ular wall of about a thousand feet of cream-colored limestone. The Walls of Jerusalem,
Gates of Gaza, Solomon's Temple — pick them out in the picture, if you please and where
you please, and magnify them ten thousand times, and all in red. The tower of Solomon's
Temple at sunset is red with the redness of blood. * * *
Looking down more than half a mile into this fifteen-by-two-hundred-and-eighteen-
mile paint pot, I continually ask: Is any fifty miles of Mother Earth that I have known
as fearful, or any part as fearful, as full of glory, as full of God? And one constantly
questions how did it happen that earth opened right here in this inaccessible and savage
land of savages, her wide red lips to tell of the marvels forever under our feet?
I think it came about in this way. There was an under or buried river. Take the
Limestone River in the Mammoth Cave as a feeble illustration. You know the story was
for centuries that the* Colorado River flowed in part underground. We never knew cer-
tainly the truth or fiction of the Indian story that the river entirely disappeared in
places, till the intrepid Lieutenant Powell, the first, and now that the matter is cleared up,
let us hope that he may be the last to dare descend into this wonderful river. What
divine audacity! The wonder is not that he lost half his force, but that he saved even
himself to modestly tell the story !
The tradition of an underground river is no wonder at all, even though there never
had been such a thing. For, standing almost where you will, on either side of the mighty
miles of canyon, you will find places where the river as entirely and suddenly disappears,
apparently, as if it were a train of cars passing into a tunnel. * * *
COLOR IS KING.
The one most startling yet most pleasant thing, as Grand Canyon bursts upon you,
or rather as you burst upon it, and look down, is the sympathetic symmetry, let me say
the homogeniety, of it all. Putting aside the soft, flesh-and-blood color, you cannot help
a sudden and glowing heart-beat at the human fashioning of it all. Here is a photograph
from what may be called Panorama Point. Here, there, almost everywhere, you see the
A NEW WONDER OF THE WORLD.
symmetry, the form, the fashioning, as perfect as a growing flower; and it takes no imagi-
nation at all to see the hand of man, the mind of man, here in this grandest work of
God that I have yet seen under the path of the sun. And this is to say nothing of the
color, which is almost as perfect as the color of the most highly and perfectly colored
flower ever considered.
Bear in mind, as said before, that this strip of 218 miles of color and grandeur has
no special points of view, as a rule. A thousand views would, perhaps, have nearly as
many prominent points of view. Every famous temple, tower or place in history or
song or story seems to have its counterpart here, only a thousand or ten thousand times
magnified. Despite the deep bed of the river, the water is warm, the warm color of the
Nile. Spending a night here, to get the soft moonlight, as if in some cathedral fashioned
when "there were giants in the land," I found the silence fearful.
And now a pretty, little, pathetic fact, a touch of tenderness, humanity. All the red
colors of the flower kind in Christendom, and there are many, seem to come here and
look down from the dusty brink of the canyon, into this riotous yet most orderly world
of red. The scarlet cactus, the Indian pink, the painter's brush, the red currant — indeed,
about a dozen bits, dots and dashes of red that I cannot name, look down, away yonder,
into that mighty arena of red, as if surely a part of it all; as one life may be a part of the
Color is king here. Take the grandest, sublimest thing the world has ever seen,
fashion it as if the master minds from the "beginning" had wrought here, paint it as
only the masters of old could paint, and you have El Canon Grande del Colorado !
DESCENDING WALLAPAI TRAJL INTO CATARACT CANYON.
Copyright, 1900, by F. H. Maude
THE GRAND CANYON Ar NIGHT.
BY HAMLIN GARLAND.
Theauthor of "The Eagle's Heart," "Main Traveled Roads,"
"Rose of Dutcher's Cooly," and "Her Mountain Lover," has of
late years made a special study of the Rocky Mountain region.
His recent stories give evidence of a keen understanding of its
scenic and racial types and a sympathetic appreciation of its pic-
turesque beauty. Much of his future work will be in this virgin
Mr. Garland has visited Arizona and has seen the Grand
Canyon. While there he not only saw the big chasm itself, but
listened with attentive ear to Hance's marvelous stories. A
charming study of Hance appears elsewhere herein.
The following account of the Grand Canyon, as seen at night,
was written by Mr. Garland for these pages, and is his latest
as most serious interpretation of the canyon's many moods:
A TWILIGHT SCENE.
*i^O me the Grand Canyon possesses two distinct entities. It is at once a majestic
rift in the earth and two ranges of mountains. As I look back upon it, two views
of it dominate all others.
The first is from the bank of the turbulent river at twilight, where I sat alone
watching the sun set over the western range, while a superb September moon
rose solemnly over the peaks to the east. It is worth while to spend a night alone
among these prodigious peaks and listen to the voice of the Colorado as it roars with
ever-increasing power, like some imperious nocturnal animal — a dragon with a lion's
throat. As the shadows deepen in the lower deeps, beginning to wash like the flood of
a spectral purple sea the gray-green mesas of the lower levels, then the river's voice swells
till it seems to fill the whole enormous canyon — savage, solemn and persistent.
It was deep night where I sat, while yet on the eastern peaks, a mile above my head,
the sun's rays lay in hot red gold. It was instructive to me to see how, one by one,
assertive lesser heights sank into shadow, till at last only one or two remained to wear
crowns, their lonely grandeur no longer in dispute. And then the moon began to grow
great, like the river's voice, pouring among the crags a mystical radiance. As I stood
looking at the ragged edge of a cliff set against the great yellow brim, I became aware
of something white and mysterious at my right hand; some strange, ghostly, awesome
thing had crept upon me silently and was about to envelop me. For an instant my
blood thickened with fear. Was it some ghost of the river's dark caverns? It seemed
so close I had but to reach out my hand and feel its chill. Each moment it expanded,
towering over me. The river seemed suddenly more fiercely menacing of roar, the
darkness about my feet deeper, and mysterious rustlings arose in the mesquite. With an
effort I whirled and fronted the mysterious presence. It was the face of a cliff across the
river, smitten into white radiance and brought near by the marvelous light of the moon.
The wall of rock was a half mile away and three thousand feet in height.
THE GRAND CANTON AT NIGHT.
When I came out of the canyon, next day at noon, a sounding wind was blowing
and the air had a touch of autumn bitterness in it. The whole vast chasm was roofed
with masses of gray clouds ranked closely and hurrying swiftly. The gloom of their
presence was magnificent. All the distracting lines of the canyon walls were lost; all
tearing, torturing angles softened and made plastic. The haphazard coloring was unified
and made harmonious by deep blue curtains of mist. Here, too, was a new phase of
the canyon. I began to understand that it had a thousand differing moods, and that
no one can know it for what it is who has not lived with it every day of the year. It is
like a mountain range — a cloud to-day, a wall of marble to-morrow. When the light
falls into it, harsh, direct and searching, it is great, but not beautiful. The lines are
chaotic, disturbing — but wait! The clouds and the sunset, the moonrise and the storm
will transform it into a splendor no mountain range can surpass. Peaks will shift and
glow, walls darken, crags take fire, and gray-green mesas, dimly seen, take on the gleam of
opalescent lakes of mountain water. The traveler who goes out to the edge and peers
into the great abyss sees but one phase out of hundreds. If he is fortunate it may be
one of its most beautiful combinations of color and shadow. But to know it, to feel its
majesty, one should camp in the bottom and watch the sunset and the moonrise while
the river marches from its lair like an angry lion.
SAN FRANCISCO PEAKS, NEAR FLAGSTAFF.
Plioto, a. L. Rose.
WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE.
ON BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL.
By WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE.
Mr. William Allen White does many important things exceed-
He owns and edits a successful daily newspaper. The Em-
poria (Kansas) Gazette. That is the place where he most loves to
be — where the news is gathered, put in type, and printed. "Just
a plain newspaper reporter" is the way he defines his business.
Mr. White also has written such books as "The Court of
Boyville," "Stratagems and Spoils" and "The Real Issue."
His new volume, "In Our Town," treats of life in a sort of
Kansas "Thrums." It contains a score of reminiscent sketches
by a country editor who tells the history of the town, and the
jstories of its inhabitants. It is his sympathy that is Mr. White's
Imost striking trait as a humorist, and it is this touch that mellows
and humanizes his humorous portrayal of village characters and
oddities, and makes them real people with a real hold upon the heart.
His work appears often in the magazines, in the form of stories of the West, and,
occasionally, vivid exposure to public view of the kings of politics and finance.
Below are given a few extracts from Mr. White's notable appreciation of the Grand
Canyon, published in McClure's Magazine for September, 1905, and illustrated by
Mr. Fernand Lungren.
THE ARTIST AND HIS WIFE.
NCE an artist who loved the wilderness brought his bride to the head of the
Bright Angel Trail. It was night when they came to their journey's end,
and the man persuaded the woman not to look upon the Grand Canyon until
morning. When the sun was high, he blindfolded her and led her out of the
log hotel that stood upon the brink of the precipice to a point of rock that
overhangs the abyss. For two days and nights they had been riding through the desert,
flat and gray, with blue mountains flickering in and out of the horizon, with a few jarring
crevasses and buttes and blufi^s to emphasize the tranquillity of the scene. The desert,
with its sombre serenity, had charmed her soul, and left it in a fine repose. As she stood
blindfolded, she could think of nothing but the great level stretches of sand and sage and
cactus. The man had told the woman little of the canyon, and when he took the
bandages from her eyes he held her very tightly as she looked out across the miles and
miles of tumult of form and riot of color that seemed to swirl thousands of feet below
her and around her. As from the clouds she looked down into an illimitable, red-
tinged, ash-colored hell, abandoned and turned to stone aeons and aeons ago, she
stared amazed at the awful thing for a long minute, and then, as the tears of inexplicable
emotion dimmed her eyes, she turned and cried vehemently at her artist husband:
"If you ever try to paint that, I'll leave you!"
THE HEART OF IT IS COLOR.
It cannot be that the fascination one feels in looking at this canyon is a delusion
having its root in idleness or mere self-mesmerism. The canyon must have some
meaning for men, as the other "visible forms" of Nature have. The sea, with its ceaseless
ON BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL. WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE.
motion and its changeless shores, may have taught men poetry and given them the first
dreams of immortality; the woods have taught men to pray, and the sky has taught them
hope. Here at this canyon, the sun and the dry, clear air are painting a changing picture,
full of color, full of the spirit of motion, full of mystery. One should not say that the
canyon is beautiful; it transcends mere beauty and passes into a "far more exceeding
glory." But the heart of it is color. It is a rhapsody in color — great splashes and bands
and daubs of color — blue shadows, deep and dead, tawny, strawberry-tinged layers of
granite; all the yellows in the paint-box; greens and gray-greens and pinks and lavenders,
with the half-tones floating on the sun wraiths that haunt the air. He who can look at
this monster chasm and not feel his soul stirring in uncanny sympathy with its depth is
dead, and Gabriel's trumpet will do little for him.
ITS ETERNAL SILENCE.
From the rim one gets two impressions — so strong that they seem almost too big for
the soul to hold — like the soul-smiting terror that comes to one who gazes long at the
stars. The two impressions are of numberless infinitely-reaching horizontal lines and of
eternal silence. There are few curves in the stretches of stratified rocks that make
colored ribbons many miles long; and the human eye is not used to taking in so much.
Over these vistas the dry air of the desert quivers with the heat. Perhaps it is the river
mist rising; perhaps it is sheer delusion; but in the motion that seems to stir the radiant
air, a white wraith floats, eluding the eyes that would locate it, yet ever present in the
sunlight that falls upon the facing clifi^s. One feels that this illusory apparition is the
spirit of silence that dominates the scene. And it is the silence of the place that appalls.
One is bewildered with the maddening thrall of pulsing air, and throbbing color, and
beckoning lines, all leading to dreams of infinite life; and against that — the silence of infinite
death. Indeed, the spirit of the thing below seems to creep into a man's soul through
his body and lay hold upon his heart and nerves. At night, as he lies in his bed, the
terrific depths that strained his eyes by day reach up and grapple him.
ART IN NATURE.
There is a lift and mass about these walls that fills the soul with unutterable things.
Out between the diverging walls, if the time be early afternoon, the sun is plying his
paint-brush on the peaks and hills below, while up Bright Angel Creek the blue shadows
seem to be smudged into the canvas in a rough, crass silhouette, as though God's
elementary drawing-class had been put in charge of the lines and angles. But the color
— the great kaleidoscope of color that is streaked and splashed through this petrified
silence, the symphony of the blues and browns and grays and yellows and pinks and
reds, with the faint green tints of the scant vegetation of the place — the color is the work of
old journeymen angels, who know what delights men's souls. * * ^' The details
of the canyon — its bits of composition — are marvelous in this, they tally so perfectly with
man's idea of art in the arrangement of the lines, the balancing of form and the discipline
of color. As one looks out of the mouth of the amphitheater towards the mysterious
vista that stretches in the hazy distances many miles away, picture after picture forms
and passes that might well have been made by some titanic human artist, so admirably
does it conform to the rules of art.
ON BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL. WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE.
WAITING FOR THE MASTER ARTIST.
One who is alive in his heart or in his head may not go down the trail that leads into
this great abyss without feeling the stir of emotions that never before have found speech.
He is in the presence of big, simple, primordial things that go to the core of human
nature, and seeing these things man may not babble of. matters frescoed on the surface
of life. This limitless scenic wonder moves men to their highest efforts, and painters,
looking at it, try to catch the incarnation of the scene, and writers to set it down in words.
It seems so plain, so evident — so trite almost, that one should not fail to transcribe it.
Yet no one has caught it, no one has described it. No one has ever carried away, in a
book or on a canvas, even a true hint of it. The blue-black shadows of the morning, that
mark so rudely the angular descent of Bright Angel Creek, facing the trail and across the
canyon, the evanescent mist, the glittering white frosting of the marble-rock band upon
the distant rim, the old-rose banner beneath the white, the gray-green of the middle distance,
and the somber brown-red frame of shaded rock-masses that make the outlooking
doors of the amphitheater in the foreground — this picture seems so obvious that a child
might make it. The plays of Shakespeare and the world's masterpieces of painting, sculp-
ture, and music have this same simplicity. The portrayal of any great fundamental
passion seems just as easy as the painting of this canyon landscape. But the artists who
have put it in mimic form and color have made it complex. And the writers who have
tried to tell of it have made mere muddles of words that mean nothing. The canyon's
master has not come to it.
THE SACRILEGIOUS YARD STICK.
The high white band of rock just under the further rim is shining in the sun. It
seems a dainty strip in the distance, but back along the trail, at the top of the amphi-
theater, a white marble ledge rises five hundred feet to the roof of the world; it is a two-
hours' walk down this cliff, yet it is the white ribbon that flashed in the sunset across the
river, lending itself to mere decoration and losing its dignity in distance. * * *
The canyon's spectacular effect grows dimmer in the consciousness, and one feels
himself confusedly tr"ying to comprehend the chasm's immensity.' Yet this may not
be done — except in meaningless figures. As well try to grasp the idea of God's origin,
or the distance between the stars, as to put into finite comprehension the realities of
this gorge. Looking backward up the walks of the great half-cylinder down which we
have been winding the whole long afternoon, the hotel at the top is seen, a pebble on the
heights; and looking forward through the slit in the cylinder toward the opposing wall of
the canyon, one faces such a spellbound stone sea, with enchanted waves and billows
reaching into the blue distance so far that to bring it under the yardstick is a sacrilege.
MOONLIGHT IN THE CANYON.
Moonlight in the canyon is a ghastly sight; the life goes out of the light, and one
seems to be looking upon the face of death, for color is the soul of the place. At night
the silence of the stars and the silence of this pit — each eternal and maddening to human
consciousness — mingle in an awful spell that falls upon the soul like the lonesomeness of
the grave. There is something of death in life and of life in death in the grim inevitable-
ness of this silence, so changeless and yet so vital. The stars and the yawning canyon
grip the soul and draw it to a communion with something strong outside itself — some-
thing that the ancient people meant when they said that they walked with God.
THE CANYON BY DARK AND BY DAY.
BY C. S. GLEED.
Mr. Charles S. Gleed resides in Topeka, the capital city of
Kansas. While representing what is best and most aggressive
in Westfern life, his many business interests have also brought
him closely in touch with Eastern affairs, and he is as honored
in New York as at home.
Mr. Gleed is a lawyer whose wise judgment is sought by
several large corporations. He is a member of the board of
directors of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. He
controls an influential newspaper at Kansas City. He writes
timely articles for the magazines. He is an able public speaker
and intimately knows a great number of the persons who make
things come to pass — being himself a prominent member of
deed's first trip to the canyon is given below:
CHARLES S. GLEED
The story of Mr.
THE STAGE— AND THE BLACK PIT.
»Y first arrival at the Grand Canyon of Arizona was at midnight. It was long
ago and we went by stage — one of the worst stages that ever was. Many
times we lost our way, and when night fell we had little hope of reaching
the canyon until next day. But at midnight we blundered into camp and
the consolations of supper and rest were soon ours.
At about one o'clock we crept out of the little valley of the camp and made our way
silently, like scouts, toward the object of our desire. Above us the giant trees murmured
at our invasion of the splendid solitude of the place. The moon, young and irresolute,
a mere mark of parenthesis, peered timidly from between hurrying clouds, and the stars
glimmered faintly as if disheartened. When the trees were quiet a deep-sea stillness
prevailed. No life of any kind gave sign. Slowly we crept up the slope, then over a
narrow bridge of rock, and at last, obedient to the guide, put forth our hands. We
found an edge, a declivity, an absolute end. We clutched vainly at black space. To
fathom this space we thrust over a big stone. No sound came back. The pit was
bottomless — the grave of the world. Down in that empire of night we seemed to discern
new seas and new continents of outer and utter darkness. The very soul of night welled
up from the abyss. Tidal waves of shade surged from below and overwhelmed the
pinnacle where we clung. A paralysis of surprise held us. Helplessness wound about
us and the hypnotism of wonder took our faculties captive. The mystery fascinated,
the void beckoned. We scarcely knew why we did not obey the summons — why we
did not abandon the present and, by following the big stone, escape to the future.
The hour of light came on. In through the sweet pellucid air of that high place came
the arrows of the Aztec sun. They pierced the heart of the valley of night and, miracle
of miracles, a revolution and a revelation! Before us grew downward a wall of prodigious
depth. Tier on tier of titanic masonry sprang into sight. Splendid colors spread like
blushes. Every tint ever imagined came quivering, shimmering, flashing, as if the great
THE CANTON BT DARK AND BT DAT. C. S. GLEED.
wall were a splendid tapestry waving in the sun. Away to the right and to the left came
marching into view, like mighty armies, miles and miles of majestic scenery such as we
had never before known. Clearer and clearer grew the outlines. Night was overcome,
day had triumphed, and there at last we saw in all its splendor the Grand Canyon
Far away it stretches, showing at a single glance nearly a hundred miles of its length.
Like the zigzag track of stupendous lightning it lies, an eternal furrow in the face of earth.
At the bottom, down below all the carnival of quaint and majestic forms, down, down,
where a thousand feet seem scarcely ten, runs the river — the Colorado — hardly known of
men until it breaks away through the desert as the boiling, surging boundary between the
territory of Arizona and the state of California. This river, this stream of solitude, fed
by the eternal springs and the perpetual snows of the Rocky Range, fights its way for
nearly three hundred miles through the pass, wrangling with mighty bowlders and at war
with unconquerable walls. When finally it emerges it is unmistakably sullen and resent-
ful, as if it could neither forget nor forgive its cruel battles above.
AS THE IMAGINATION RUNS.
But the canyon! Surrendering our minds to the magic spell of that mighty chasm,
what pictures troop before us! Yonder see Gibraltar, giant sentinel of the Mediterranean.
There on long ledges are St. Peter's and St. Paul's, Niagara, the Pyramids and the tower
of Pisa. Bracketed beyond are the great parliament houses of the world. Down below
behold in life size the lesser mountains of our own land — Washington, Monadnock,
Mansfield, Lookout and a thousand others. See in the distance million colored pictures
of the Alps, the Adirondacks and the Sierras. On endless shelves, this way and that,
behold the temples and cathedrals, the castles and fortresses of all time. See vast armies,
the armies of the ages, winding up the slopes, and great navies maneuvering in the mirage-
like distance. Here, indeed, the giant mind of Dante would have found new worlds to
conquer; and Homer would have dreamed new dreams of gods and men, love and war,
life and death, heaven and hell.
Outrun, overcome and weary, the mind of the watcher surrenders, and, while it waits,
the moments lengthen to hours and the hours to days. Measures of time intrude and
there is no fit ending for the reverie.
"Vastness! and Age! and memories of Eld!
Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
I feel ye now — I feel ye in your strength —
Oh spells more sure than e'er Judaean King
Taught in the Gardens of Gethsemane !
Oh charms more potent than the rapt Chfldee
Ever drew down from out the quiet stars."
rHE GEOLOGY OF THE GRAND CANYON REGION.
BY PROF. R. D. SALISBURY.
■ " -'^l Geology deals with facts about the earth's crust. It begins
,^ with the beginnings of time and in its computations a thousand
^^k years are as one day. Looked at from one viewpoint it might
^^B be accounted prosaic, eternally wedded to the ground. But it
\jnr has wings. He who reads with unquickened pulse and with no
^K[ stir of the imagination the epic accounts of earth's submersion,
^^ uplifting and erosion — each era comprising millions of years —
■^^■h^^ should not visit the Grand Canyon. For him that open page of
V^^^^Hj Nature's world-building processes would have no meaning or
■^^^^H| charm. But for him who wishes to build his vision on a
ilBPiP^^^! solid ground of facts — who cares to know what story the
_ J rocks tell — the article which follows will be more interesting
PROF. R. D. SALISBURY. than a romance.
Professor Salisbury, the writer thereof, is connected with the University of Chicago
as professor of geographic geology. He is a member of many prominent scientific
societies, has written several books, is one of the editors of the Journal of Geology, is
connected with the United States Geological Survey, and stands in the front rank of
American geologists. The surface geology of New Jersey has been one of Professor
Salisbury's special studies.
GEOLOGY OF THE GRAND CANYON REGION.
HE Grand River, taking its source in the Rocky Mountains of northern
Colorado, and the Green River, which has its beginning in the Wind River
Mountains of Wyoming, unite in southeastern Utah to form the Colorado
River. From this point the Colorado flows first in a southwesterly and then
in a westerly course through the plateau region of southeastern Utah and
northern Arizona, in the most remarkable canyon of the world. From the mouth of
the Little Colorado (Colorado Chiquito) in the central part of northern Arizona to the
Grand Wash in the northwestern part of the territory this canyon, appropriately known
as the Grand Canyon of Arizona, is somewhat more than 200 miles long, while its depth
is often rather more than a mile. So far as present knowledge goes it is the greatest
trench in the earth's crust. A scarcely less remarkable canyon — the Marble Canyon —
though but one-third as long, lies above the head of the Grand Canyon.
THE SURFACE OF THE PLATEAU.
The altitude of the plateau in which the canyon lies varies considerably, and the
variation is greater north of the river than south of it. The larger part of the plateau is
about 7,000 feet above the sea. Great as this elevation is, the plateau is bordered on the
north by still higher lands, the High Plateaus of Utah, which rise some 4,000 feet above
the general level of the surface about the canyon. To the west, the plateau of the
canyon region falls off abruptly along the Grand Wash, near the 114th meridian, to a
desert country beyond. To the south, it is terminated by a less marked and more irreg-
ular escarpment, falling off to the lower levels and more broken lands of central and
southern Arizona. To the east, the limits are less well defined; for present purposes,
however, the plateau of the Colorado may be considered as ending at the conspicuous
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURY.
escarpment of the Echo Cliffs, east of the Marble Canyon. On the north and east,
therefore, the plateau is bordered by still higher plateaus, while on the south and west it
descends to lower lands.
That portion lying south of the canyon may be looked on as a unit. The part lying
north of the river is divided into four subordinate sections, separated from one another
by abrupt escarpments. Some of these escarpments mark the position of great vertical
fissures extending thousands of feet down into the earth's crust, along which the rock
strata have been displaced (Fig. i) or faulted, while others represent great flexures (Fig. 2).
' I '..K- r-^V^L
sh, at the western border of
X^f ^Y^il^ ^^ Jjorz o c//'/7 <
The fault escarpment along the Grand Wash, at the western border of the
Canyon plateau. (Taken from Dutton.)
«.^f A /e/e/
Fig. 2. A monoclinal escarpment in the plateau north of the river in the eastern part of the
Grand Canyon region. (Taken from Dutton.)
Much of that part of the plateau lying south of the canyon is nearly flat, though the
general level is interrupted here and there (i) by somewhat notable elevations, and (2)
by equally notable valleys and gorges. Some of the elevations, like the San Francisco
Mountain at Flagstaff, and Red Butte farther north, rise thousands of feet above the
general level, and some of the depressions are thousands of feet below it.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE PLATEAU.
The general structure of the plateau region is rather simple. To great depths it is
made up primarily of nearly horizontal layers of rock of various sorts and colors lying
one above another. This structure is best shown in the walls of the Grand Canyon, but
it is also shown in most of the minor tributary canyons, where the absence of vegetation
and soil expose the plan of the structure so plainly that its simpler elements may be
grasped at a glance. Although the beds of rock appear to be horizontal, they are not
absolutely so, but dip slightly to the north. Thus the beds which are about 7,800 feet
above sea level at the base of the San Francisco Peaks are only 6,400 feet above sea
level at the rim of the canyon forty-odd miles to the north, and 4,400 feet above the same
datum plane at the Vermilion Cliffs, nearly an equal distance farther in the same direction.
There is a second element in the structure of the plateau which appears to best
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
advantage in the walls of the canyon. This is a series of nearly vertical fissures, by
which the horizontal beds are broken up into a series of blocks. These vertical fissures
run in various directions, but there are two principal sets, approximately at right angles
to each other. It is the combination of horizontal lines occasioned by the bedding planes
and of vertical lines occasioned by the fissures, that produces the remarkable architectural
effects so common in the canyon. (See Plate 1.)
THE HISTORY OF THE PLATEAU.
The history of the plateau in which the Grand Canyon is cut has been a long one,
but its principal elements are well understood. The Grand Canyon and all the minor
canyons tributary to it were cut by running water. If they were filled, thus obliterating
the work of the streams, the surface of the plateau between the railway and the canyon
would be nearly flat except for the volcanic hills and mountains, and the few buttes of
stratified rock which rise above the general level. This was the condition of the surface
before the streams of modern times had sculptured it.
The buttes of stratified rock which dot the plateau are significant of certain phases of
its history. These buttes are made up of isolated remnants of strata which once overlay
the whole plateau. They are mute but unequivocal witnesses of the great erosion which
has removed beds of rock, hundreds and thousands of feet in thickness, from the larger
part of the surface of the region. The same thing is suggested by the escarpments to
the north and east where higher and younger strata, corresponding with those of the
buttes, overlie the beds which now constitute the surface of the plateau (Figs. 3 and 4).
The present plateau surface therefore represents a surface of erosion cut down from a
surface which was once far above it (Fig. 5).
The plateau in which the Grand Canyon of the Colorado is cut is a plain of erosion,
or base-level plain, originally developed near sea level. Its present position, high above
the sea, shows that it has been elevated several thousand feet, more than a mile indeed,
since the time of its development, for base levels are developed only near sea level, and
•■•jir^ L-— ic I .^r::^
■ ..^ ^ v^ ■-.
Fig. 3. The Echo Cliffs at the east border of the canyon plateau, showing that the strata to the east once
extended west over the plateau of the canyon. (Taken from Dutton. )
Fig. 4. Section north from the canyon plateau, showing that the beds which outcrop in the cliffs to the north
once extended south over some or all of the canyon plateau. (Taken from Dutton.)
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
C T\ A Al D CA/M O AJ
Fig. 5. Section across the Grand Canyon, showing its present relations in full lines, and suggesting, by the
dotted line above, the thickness of rock which may have been removed.
Fig. 6. A series of sections illustrating the base leveling of a plateau by the widening of the valleys.
this old base level is now more than a mile above the sea. Since its elevation, the rain
and the rivers have cut the canyons and gorges which affect its surface.
The development of these flat surfaces (base levels of erosion) by rain, rivers and wind
is an interesting study. Briefly, swift streams cut downward; when the velocity is slight,
the downward cutting ceases, but the side cutting continues, and the widening of the
valleys goes on until the intervening divides are worn away. (Fig. 6.) Both processes
are still going on in the Grand Canyon.
From the buttes, and from the escarpments on the borders of the plateau (Figs. 3
and 4), some conception may be gained of the extent of the erosion involved in the devel-
opment of the plairt-, which was later lifted up to the estate of a plateau. The plateau of
the canyon passes into the High Plateaus of Utah by a series of terraces. North of the
canyon, the first of these terraces rises abruptly several hundred feet above the plateau
to the south. Following northward over the nearly level surface of the first terrace,
a second escarpment several hundred feet in height is reached. Followed to the north,
the level surface above this escarpment rises to higher altitudes, sometimes by distinct
escarpments, and sometimes by more gradual slopes. These several escarpments repre-
sent the edges of formations younger than those of the plateau, some or all of which
once extended southward over the whole region. The thickness of the formations which
have been cut ofl^ from the surface of the plateau represents the amount of erosion which
has been accomplished. If all the formations, the edges of which lie to the north and the
east, once extended over the plateau, as seems likely (Button), it would appear that the
thickness of the beds removed must be something like 10,000 feet, or approximately two
miles. Were these strata put back the surface of the plateau would be built up to a
height which is rivaled, among existing plateaus, only by the great plateau of Thibet. It
is to be remembered, however, that the present plateau surface was developed near sea
level as a low plain^ and that it was not until a much later time that it was finally lifted
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURY.
to its present position. The altitude of the plateau was, therefore, probably never so
great as the above comparison seems to imply. The uplift which followed the develop-
ment of the plain was probably not less than 6,000 feet. The aggregate uplift of the
region in the course of its history was far greater than this, as will be seen in the sequel.
The area from which the thicknesses of rock mentioned in the last paragraph appear
to have been removed is not less than 13,000 to 15,000 square miles. The length of
time necessary for the removal of such thicknesses of strata from so great an area was very
great. While there is no means of measuring it in years, its duration should probably be
measured in terms of millions of years, rather than in terms of a lesser denomination.
SUBDIVISIONS OF GEOLOGIC TIME.
Geologic time is classified by geologists as follows — the oldest division (i) standing at
the bottom and the youngest at the top:
LIMESTONE CAVES, GRAND VIEW TRAIL.
Fhoto, Putnam dt Valentine.
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
The Archean System. Several of the systems of rocks made during the several
periods of geologic time are represented in the Grand Canyon region. At the bottom of
the canyon throughout much of its course, the Archean system, the oldest of which
geologists have knowledge, is exposed. The Archean is shown in two long sections of
the canyon's course. The first is from a point a short distance below the foot of Hance's
Trail (about 1 12° long), down to about longitude 112° 30'. The second is farther down
the canyon, between the longitude of 113° 15' and 114°, approximately. The Archean
rock of this region was originally mainly or wholly of igneous rock, but much of it has
been extensively altered by great pressure and other metamorphosing agencies. It is
now chiefly metamorphic. Into the metamorphic rock which forms the body of the
Archean considerable masses of igneous rock of lesser age and of various sorts have been
injected. The Archean is therefore made up primarily of metamorphic rock, affected in
many places by igneous rock intruded into it in later times.
Popularly, the Archean rock of the region passes under the name of granite. In that
part most commonly visited, it forms the walls of the inner gorge for more than 1,000
feet above the river. It can be distinguished from most of the overlying rock because
of its lack of stratification. Where it forms the wall of the canyon horizontal lines are
wanting. It erodes differently from the beds above, standing with steeper slopes and
rougher faces. Where it forms the inner gorge of the canyon, the canyon is narrow,
steep-sided and most forbidding (Plate II). The somber appearance is emphasized by
the dark color of the rock, which is in contrast with the lighter and brighter colors above.
In descending to the river at some points, as at the foot of Berry's trail, horses must be
left behind when the surface of this formation is reached, and the descent to the river
made on foot.
The surface of the Archean, on which the younger formations rest, is often nearly
smooth and much of the way nearly flat. Its flat surface appears to have been developed
at a very early stage in the earth's history, by the same agencies which developed the
plateau surface above at a much later time and by the same forces which are developing
flat land surfaces to-day. In other words, the surface of the Archean represents a surface
of erosion developed before the stratified rocks which now cover it were deposited.
Immediately above the Archean, in the more accessible parts of the canyon, are the nearly
horizontal beds of sedimentary rock already referred to as underlying the plateau about
The Algonkian System. Just below the foot of Hance's trail the surface of the
Archean declines or dips to the eastward, while the base of the horizontal beds of stratified
Fig. 7. Section showing the relations of the various formations in the wall of the canyon, near the foot of Hance's
trail. The right hand portion of the figure is up stream, and the left hand portion down stream.
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON. R. D. SALTS BURT.
rock continues eastward in a nearly horizontal line. Between the declining surface
of the Archean below and the base of the horizontal beds above, comes in another series
of strata (Fig. 7). Like the beds above, they are stratified, but instead of being hori-
zontal, they dip to the east at the same angle at which the surface of the Archean declines.
This dipping series of stratified rock is of Algonkian age.
These tilted beds of sandstone and shale were originally laid down beneath the sea, as
beds of mud and sand, on the nearly even surface of the Archean. The sand and mud
were derived from lands which existed somewhere in the vicinity. The sediments were
doubtless carried down to the sea by rivers or washed from the shores by waves, just as
the sand and mud now being deposited in the sea are derived from the land. At the
time of their deposition these beds were essentially horizontal. Subsequently the beds
of sand became sandstone, and those of mud became shale, by cementation. That the
sediments accumulated in water is shown by their stratification. That the water was
salt is shown by the character of the few fossils which, the beds contain. This system
of rocks, the Algonkian, is the oldest system which has yielded fossils of any sort in any
part of the world.
At some later time the Archean of this region and the overlying horizontal beds of
Algonkian age were lifted up, converting the sea bottom of the Algonkian period into
land. The uplift was unequal, causing the beds which had been horizontal to be tilted
to the eastward and at the same time warping the top of the Archean out of planeness.
After the conversion of the sea bottom into land a long period of erosion ensued and a
new base-level of erosion was developed, involving both the Algonkian and the Archean
(Fig. 7). Over considerable areas the Algonkian was completely worn away, but to
the east (at the foot of Hance's Trail and above) part of it still remains.
The Algonkian beds are mostly of bright colors, among which deep, rich reds pre-
dominate, giving especial brilliancy to the coloring of that part of the canyon where
they are exposed. The sedimentary beds of Algonkian age are here and there cut by
dikes of igneous rock, and sheets of lava have locally been intruded between the beds of
sedimentary origin. The Algonkian rocks of this region were appropriately named by
Powell the Grand Canyon series.
The original thickness of the Algonkian system must have been very great. What
now remains has a thickness of nearly 12,000 feet, as measured by Walcott. The length
of time necessary for the deposition of such thicknesses of sediment was almost inconceiv-
ably long. After they were deposited, the further time necessary for the uplift (for such
movements are usually very slow) and for the development of the flat surface of erosion
(Fig. 7) which cuts across Archean and Algonkian alike, was also very long. It
appears to have occupied all the earlier part of the next succeeding (Cambrian) period.
The time necessary for the deposition of the rocks of the Algonkian and for the erosion
which it suffered after being uplifted is doubtless to be reckoned in millions of years.
The Cambrian System. After prolonged erosion had developed the flat surface
across Archean and Algonkian alike (Fig. 7), the region again sank below the level
of the sea, and over the submerged plain, other sediments, derived from lands which
still lay somewhere in the vicinity, were deposited. These sediments were subsequently
cemented into sandstone, shale, etc., and now overlie the older formations.
This system of rocks is the Cambrian, but the beds which are present in this region
seem to have been deposited in the later part of the period, leading to the inference that
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON. R. D. SALTS BURT.
the region was out of water and suffering erosion in the earher part. At the foot of
Hance's Trail and above, the Cambrian beds rest on the Grand Canyon series (Fig. 7);
but a short distance below, the Algonkian disappears, and the Cambrian system rests
directly on the Archean (Fig. 7). In most of the readily accessible parts of the canyon
the Cambrian rocks are the lowest bedded series, the strata of which are approximately
horizontal. They are of much duller colors than the Algonkian below or the Carbon-
iferous above. The broad terrace two-thirds or three-fourths of the way from the top to
the bottom of the canyon is at the level of the Cambrian sandstone in those parts of
the canyon most visited (see Fig. 5 and Plate III). The thickness of the Cambrian
system in this region is more than 1,000 feet. The Cambrian of this region is often
known as the Tonto formation, the principal rock of which is sandstone. It is not rich
in fossils, though they are sufficiently numerous to establish the age of the beds, and the
fact that the sediments were accumulated in salt water. The character of the sediments
and their structure show further, that the water in which they were laid down was shallow.
Sometime subsequent to this period of depression and submergence the area seems
again to have emerged from the sea, either by the rise of the land or by the sinking of
the sea level, and the surface underwent a third period of prolonged erosion. So far as
now known the surface was not at this time lifted high above the water, and if the
erosion accomplished was great, the fact is not known.
Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian Systems. There is in the canyon slight, if
any, representation of the formations of the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian periods,
though strata belonging to the last of these systems are known to occur at some localities
not far away. The absence of these systems may mean either that the region was above
sea level during these periods, and so not receiving sediments, or that sediments of these
periods, once deposited, were afterward removed by erosion before the Carboniferous
beds were laid down.
The Carboniferous System. Whatever the condition of the region during the
periods last mentioned, it was again submerged beneath the sea in the Carboniferous
period, and during this long interval of time, sediments, primarily sand and organic
products, such as shells, coral, etc., were deposited to the depth of more than 2,000 feet.
The upper part of the existing portion of this system constitutes the surface of the larger
part of the present canyon plateau, though the region did not emerge from the water at
the end of this period. Rather did it remain submerged, receiving sediments brought
down from surrounding lands during the Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, and perhaps
through the Cretaceous periods.
The Carboniferous formations constitute the upper half of the canyon's walls. The
lower part of this system is the Red Wall formation, conspicuous alike for its redness
and for the wall-like face which it presents. Above is the Aubrey limestone and sand-
stone, of huffish and whitish colors. This extends from the Red Wall up to the top of
The Carboniferous formations of this region are notably unlike those of the east,
where extensive beds of coal were made from the vegetation of the great marshes which
The Permian, Triassic and Jurassic Systems. The Permian system has but
slight representation in the immediate vicinity of the canyon. Beds of Permian sedi-
mentary rock are found in some of the buttes (Plate IV) of stratified rock which rise
GEOLOGY' OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
above the general level of the plateau. They have not always been differentiated from
the formations of Triassic age. The red sandstone quarried at Flagstaff probably belongs
to one or the other of these systems, and both systems, as well as the Jurassic, appear to
the north and east of the canyon region. The terraces by which the surface of the
plateau of the canyon region ascends to the high plateaus to the north are made up in
succession of Permian, Triassic and Jurassic beds. All these systems probably once
overlay the territory through which the river now wends its way.
The Cretaceous System. Cretaceous strata do not now appear in the vicinity of
the canyon, but from the relations of these strata (Figs. 3 and 4) to the east and north,
beds of this age are thought by Dutton to have once covered the canyon plateau.
The sediments which make the formations of Cambrian, Carboniferous, Permian and
later periods all seem to have been deposited in shallow water. Since the aggregate
thickness of the several systems from Cambrian to Cretaceous is very great it follows,
if the above conclusion is correct, that the sea bottom must have continued to sink as
the sediments accumulated. The aggregate subsidence can hardly have been less than
two miles, but such was the duration of the interval during which it took place that the
settling may have progressed at an average rate of inches per century. By the close
of the Cretaceous period the lower part of the Cambrian sediments, which had themselves
been deposited in shallow water, were probably as much as two miles below sea level and
covered to that depth by the later systems already mentioned.
The Eocene System. After the Cretaceous period the region seems to have
emerged from beneath the sea and for a time was subjected to erosion. A little later.
Photo, Putnam <& Valentine,
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
perhaps as the result of warping of the crust, a great lake came into existence over the
northern part of the plateau region, and possibly over the whole of it, though this has
never been demonstrated. In this lake, as in the seas before, great thicknesses of sedi-
ment brought down from the surrounding lands were deposited. That the sediments
were deposited in a lake and not in the sea, is shown by the fossils, which are remains
of fresh water organisms. Following the deposition of these lacustrine sediments in the
early Eocene period the lake was drained. The extinction of the lake was perhaps the
result of uplift. Whether this uplift was slow or sudden, whether it was continuous or
intermittent, may never be determined with certainty. It is probable, however, that it was
slow rather than rapid, and that it was intermittent rather than continuous. Since that
time the region has undergone still further elevation. First and last the uplift of the
region since Cretaceous time has probably not been less than 15,000 feet.
THE FIRST GREAT UPLIFT.
When the area of the Grand Canyon region finally became land, after the exclusion
of the sea and the drying up of the Eocene lake, valleys and streams, taking their origin
in the rainfall, began to develop. The climate of the region at that time seems to have
been notably unlike that of the present, for rainfall seems to have been abundant, and if
so, streams were more numerous than now. Following the habit of rivers in all places at
all times, the streams of this time deepened their valleys until they were brought down
Plate IV. A Permian Butte. (Dutton.) Taken from monograph of the United States Geological Survey.
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
nearly to sea level. Deepening then ceased, but the valleys of both main and tributary
streams continued to widen. As in all regions undergoing stream erosion at the present
time, the valley flats became wider and wider, always at the expense of the intervening
uplands, until they merged into one another laterally, thus doing away with the high lands
between (Fig. 6). The plane of erosion developed by this long period of denudation
appears to have been what is now the plateau surface. Some of the irregularities of the
plateau surface, such as Red Butte, show that the erosion surface was not reduced to
perfect planeness at this time. When it was developed, this plane stood some 5,000 or
6,000 feet lower than now, for erosion planes are developed only near sea level. The
erosion plane has been uplifted to the extent of a mile or more since its development,
though the elevation was accomplished during two somewhat widely separated periods
This great period of erosion, during which the plain which was to become the plateau of
the Grand Canyon was developed, appears to have occupied the latter part of the Eocene,
the Oligocene and the Miocene periods. The length of this time in years can only be
conjectured; but, as in the case already referred to, the duration of the period of erosion
must have been very long, certainly many hundreds of thousands and probably millions of
years. It was long enough to remove completely all the Eocene, Cretaceous, Jurassic
and perhaps Triassic beds from the region, the greater part of the Permian, and some
of the Carboniferous, in all a thickness of something like two miles of rock, as nearly as
bv H. a. Peabody.
Plate III. View in the canyon, showing the great terrace at the level of the Cambrian formation.
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
can now be estimated. To allow so great erosion, the uplift preceding must have been
at least equally great.
THE SECOND UPLIFT.
Later, about the end of the Miocene, as nearly as now known, the erosion plain suf-
fered further elevation. One result of this uplift was to give the streams greater velocity,
and so to increase their erosive power. In the uplifted plain the Colorado cut its valley
about 3,000 feet below the plateau level, down to the level of the great terrace (Fig. 5)
which now forms the upper edge of the inner canyon. By the time this level had been
reached the stream had become so sluggish that its downward cutting was slight. The
valley however, continued to grow wider. The result was the development of the outer
canyon of the Colorado, several miles in width. This period of erosion seems to have
corresponded very nearly with the Pliocene period.
The time necessary to excavate this broad valley was notably less than that needed to
reduce the earlier surface to a base-level, but it was probably longer, relatively, than might
at first appear, for while it was being cut the climate was probably dry like that of to-day.
This is indicated by the fewness of the valleys tributary to the main canyon. Had the
Plate I. Vishnu's Temple. A detail of erosion in the Grand Canyon.
of the United States Geological Survey.
Taken from monograph
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALISBURT.
climate been humid, tributary valleys would have been far more numerous. The arid
condition seems to have come in with the uplift of the plain which had been developed
by the close of the Miocene.
THE THIRD UPLIFT.
Still later, about the close of the Pliocene period, the region was again uplifted to the
extent of 2,000 or 3,000 feet, and the river, having its velocity again accelerated, began
to cut a new and narrow valley in the bottom of its older and wider one. Since that time
the river has made the inner gorge of the canyon (Fig, 5 and Plate II) 1,500 to 2,000
feet in depth, and the downward cutting is still in progress. When the stream shall have
cut its channel so low that its current becomes sluggish, it will cease to cut downward, but
the widening of the gorge will still continue.
The cutting of the inner gorge has occurred in times which, geologically speaking, are
very recent. It seems to be the work of the closing stages of the Pliocene and the
Pleistocene periods, and these periods are probably much shorter than any of the earlier
ones recognized in the classification.
Faulting. Faulting (Fig. i) has been an element in the development of the present
topography of the region. The faulting appears to have begun with the first great uplift
after the early Eocene, but the earlier faulting had little influence on present topography.
The faulting which accompanied the uplift at the close of the Miocene (i. e., the uplift
which brought the plain of erosion into the position of a plateau) is probably the oldest
Photo, Putnam & Valentine
PINNACLES AT HEAD OF SHINUMO, NORTH SIDE OF CANV'ON.
GEOLOGT OF THE GRAND CANTON.
R. D. SALTS BURT.
faulting which is now reflected in the topography, particularly of the region north of the
canyon. In the later uplift, faulting along the same lines may have been continued.
Volcanic Action. The volcanic formations of the region are probably all of Ceno-
zoic age, though the oldest may be late Cretaceous. The volcanic forces had become
active before the close of the Eocene, for volcanic ash is one of the constituents of the
Eocene lake beds north of the canyon. The older lava beds, like that which caps Red
Butte, seem to have flowed out long before the end of the period of great erosion which
developed the relatively level surface of the plateau. It is to the protecting influence of
such lava beds, which resist erosion more effectively than the sedimentary rock of the
region, that many remnants of Permian and Triassic strata owe their preservation.
The greater extrusions of lava seem to have occurred before the close of the Miocene,
but volcanic activity continued on a diminishing scale up to very recent time. During
the later stages of vulcanism of the region, the material ejected seems to have been largely
in the form of cinders (lava fragments) rather than lava flows. The youngest of the lava
flows, as well as many of the cinder cones, are so fresh that they must be thought to
date from the Pleistocene period.
The finest of the recent volcanic cones as well as the best examples of recent lava
flows are in the vicinity of Sunset Mountain, within easy reach of Flagstafi\ Some of
them are so fresh that they must date from the yesterday of geology. At few points on
our continent are recent volcanic phenomena so well exhibited and so readily accessible.
From the top of Sunset Mountain scores of recent cinder cones are readily seen, and
from the top of San Francisco Peaks, the most easily accessible of their height (nearly
13,000 feet) on the continent, a great range of volcanic phenomena as well as one of the
most impressive panoramas of the world may be seen.
ARIZONA INDIANS IN VICINITY OF GRAND CANYON.
Photo, W. H. Simpson.
NAT M. BRIGHAM.
THE WITCHERY OF IT ALL.
BY NAT M. BRIG HA M.
One of the most ardent admirers of the Grand Canyon is the
well-known lecturer on "Strange Corners of Our Country."
Mr. Brigham is eloquent in his belief that the people of the
East little realize the extent and character of the scenic wonders
of the undeveloped West.
With this in view he began lecturing five years ago. Many
critics esteem him a worthy successor of Stoddard in the travel-
lecture field. His repertoire includes: "The Grand Canyon of
Arizona," "The Land of the Snake Dance," "The Apache
Warpath," and "Coronado to Kit Carson."
By permission of Mr. Brigham, we insert the following
extracts from his deservedly popular lecture on the Grand
IT SLEEPS AND DREAMS.
lUT you should look upon its glories when the moonlight falls upon the wait-
ing earth. How that old canyon sleeps and dreams! Even the life that
seemed to pulse across the dreary wastes at noonday is still. The tumbling
river subsides. The miles on miles of mighty cliffs sleep, and sleep again.
Shadowy types of temples, weird and ancient — huge altars, wrapped in mystic
trappings, fantastic groupings — start into life. Niches and corners which by day were
bare and meaningless, now hold figures that startle you. River and mountain, cliff and
wall are lifted into glory, and this whole vast upland, which by day may have repelled you
because of the agony of the ages, now lies in dreamful slumber, pure, white and still as a
nun at her prayers, and as far as the eye can reach you may behold this whole stupendous
waste lifted into a glory like unto the glory of paradise. * ''' *
The question often comes — Are not the blue of the sky, the crimson of the rock, the
amber of the* clouds intensified in these color views? My answer is — Who but God
could paint the sky, could stain the rock, could hold the amber giants swinging in the air?
A thousand times have I heard the beholder exclaim: "No tongue can describe it."
Am I myself unduly moved? Possibly. But I love nature. She has not a mood
OLD CAMP OF FOREST RANGER AT ROWE S WELLS.
THE WITCHERT OF IT ALL.
NAT M. BRIGHAM.
that does not woo me. From • boyhood the scent of the violet would disquiet me. The
odor of our New England mayflower would summon up an endless trail of holiest
memories. The silence and scent of the deep wildwood would thrill me deeper than
any strain of music.
You could not dream then how this labyrinth of chasms allured me — its unfathom-
able shadows, moving in resistless majesty; its amphitheaters swelling out, until in fancy
they are peopled with form of temple and tower and town; the illusive haze that cloaks
its myriad peaks; the royal purple of its shadows; its miles of color bands, and every band
an age; its mile-deep walls, red with a passion sublime, reaching from this puny age of
ours back to that mystic period when the waiting earth first quickened in the throbbing
womb of time. The miracle of a sunrise that floods the unanswering wastes until the far
reaching line of cliff^s seems floating in the rising tide of a crimson sea. The carnage of a
sunset that with blood-red banners marches resistless over the ruined wastes of cities until
the distant watch towers flash defiance, then signal defeat, then sink back into the night,
until the far-flung line of battlements goes down in the unequal struggle and this great
underworld grows black in sullen wonder.
The witchery of a night that tips with unearthly light the slowly emerging forms
you have known by day, bringing within hailing distance the dim outlines of the
thither rim; the night that consorts with the very clouds of heaven to bring a mimic
sky to earth; the night that woos the sighing pine and the bending stars; the night that
bids the crescent moon bend low to bid you wait her fullness, what time in full-orbed
splendor she swings resistless above this world-old scene, until in fancy your vision
sweeps the fields where the nations of the earth have bivouacked, folded in such deep
silence that neither the morning sun nor the trumpeter of God could rouse them from
their lethal slumber. The infinite hush of it all! The mirage of the City Celestial!
JOHN HANCE S OLD LOG CABIN,
Photi,, If. //. >,»i;...
AMERICAN ART AND AMERICAN SCENERY.
BY THOMAS MORAN.
Thomas Moran, the great artist, is now sixty-eight years old.
Ever since his first trip to Europe, in 1862, he has held a com-
manding position among American landscape painters and
etchers. He is to-day, in his studio at Easthampton, Long
Island, busy with new pictures which are as powerful and as
charming in form and color as any of his earlier successes.
Mr. Moran has perhaps achieved his most notable triumphs
with American subjects — particularly Rocky Mountain scenery.
Two of his masterpieces, The Yellowstone Canyon, and The
Grand Canyon of Arizona, are hung in the national capitol at
In the earlysummer of 1 901, accompanied by Geo. Inness, Jr.,
and Geo. H. McCord, he revisited the Grand Canyon. An
article written shortly after that memorable trip is first printed herein. The topic —
"America for Americans" — is a favorite one with him.
tkioto, W, H, Simpsun.
JOHN HAXCE, THOS. MORAN, GEO. INNESS, JR., AND G. H. M CORD.
AME RICAN ART AND AMERICAN SCENERT. THOS. MO RAN.
T has often occurred to me as a curious and anomalous fact, that American
artists are prone to seek the subjects for their art in foreign lands, to the almost
entire exclusion of their own.
This disposition is, perhaps, attributable to a prevailing idea that to reach
and see the pictorial wealth of the far southwest, involves much time, hardship,
expense, and above all, dangers that do not really exist; for it is easier in every way to
visit this land of color, sunshine and magnificent scenery than to go to Europe, and
much more comfortable traveling.
Another reason alleged by many artists why our own great country has been neglected
is, that the grand in nature is not paintable; that is, not suited to pictorial representation.
This idea is, I think, due to the influence of foreign teaching, especially of the French
school, where most of our American art students receive their training.
This school of painting, in landscape, has never aimed at anything beyond what
might be called the pastoral; that is, a quiet poplar-lined riverside, or a bit of swampy
ground reflecting a few trees under the gray and colorless skies of their country.
This pastoral landscape seems to have satisfied the ambition of their best painters;
and perhaps it could not be otherwise, as men will paint best that which they know best
and are most in sympathy with.
NATIONALISM IN ART.
That there is a nationalism in art needs no proof. It is bred from a knowledge of
and sympathy with their surroundings, and no foreigner can imbue himself with the
spirit of a country not his own. Therefore he should paint his own land.
The English have painted England as nobody but an Englishman could. The same
can be said of the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, and so on.
Our countrymen seem to ignore this fact. They go abroad to study and return
laden with the foreign idea, and unthinkingly settle down to imitating as near as they can
the subjects, style and method of their masters. Instead of seeking their subjects and
inspiration in their own land and applying their technical skill in the production of works
national in character, they seem to devote themselves to imitations of foreign masters,
and many even find it necessary to make occasional trips abroad to lay in a fresh stock
of ideas for imitation.
Before America can pretend to a position in the world of art it will have to prove it,
through a characteristic nationality in its art, and our artists can only do this by painting
their own country, making use of all the technical skill and knowledge they may have
acquired in the schools of Europe and the study of the art of the past.
I have been led to these reflections through my familiarity with the scenery of our
own unrivaled country from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. There is no phase of
landscape in which we are not richer, more varied and interesting than any country in
ARTISTIC FUTURE OF AMERICANS.
On a recent visit to the Grand Canyon of Arizona I was more than ever convinced
that the future of American art lies in being true to our own country, in the interpreta-
tion of that beautiful and glorious scenery with which nature has so lavishly endowed
AMERICAN ART AND AMERICAN SCENERT. THOS. MORAN.
It is not my purpose to undertake any description of this awe inspiring and exqui-
sitely beautiful gorge, a whole country in itself. That has been done by many writers,
notably by Mr. C. A. Higgins, whose word picture of the great canyon is a poem, and
to my thinking the best that has been written. Of all places on earth the great
canyon of Arizona is the most inspiring in its pictorial possibilities.
My chief desire is to call the attention of American landscape painters to the
unlimited field for the exercise of their talents to be found in this enchanting south-
western country; a country flooded with color and picturesqueness, offering everything to
inspire the artist, and stimulate him to the production of works of lasting interest and value.
This Grand Canyon of Arizona, and all the country surrounding it, offers a new and
comparatively untrodden field for pictorial interpretation, and only awaits the men of
original thoughts and ideas to prove to their countrymen that we possess a land of beauty
and grandeur with which no other can compare. The pastoral painter, the painter of
picturesque genre, the imaginative and dramatic landscapist are here offered all that can
delight the eye, or stir the imagination and emotions.
With truth and perceptions of a poet, Mr. Higgins has described the canyon as
"An inferno swathed in soft celestial fires, unflinchingly real, yet spectral as a dream. It is
the soul of Michael Angelo, and of Beethoven."
Its forests of cedar and pine interspersed with aspens and dwarfish oak are weird in
the extreme; its tremendous architecture fills one with wonder and admiration, and its
color, forms and atmosphere are so ravishingly beautiful, that, however well traveled one
may be, a new world is opened to him when he gazes into the Grand Canyon of Arizona.
Photo, U. WluL.
U. S. INDIAN AGENCY IN CATARACT L.
DAVID STARR JORDAN.
rHE LAND OF PATIENCE.
BY PRESIDENT DA VID STARR JORDAN.
Several seasons ago a company of California educators, under
the lead of Charles F. Lummis, editor of "Out West," visited
the Grand Canyon by way of Flagstaff. One of the members
thereof was Dr. David Starr Jordan, President of Stanford
He published a brief account of the trip in Mr. Lummis'
magazine, taking as his theme the novel one of the infinite lazi-
ness of this corner of the world.
A deep student of nature. President Jordan is not a man to
be carried away or unduly impressed by any of her strange
workings, and his calm analysis of the greatest work of erosion
is of special interest. His impressions are submitted as the
latest word of a busy man on a big theme :
THE OLD REPOSE.
OT its grandeur and beauty, its weird magnificence, its sublime supremacy;
all the world knows this. But it impressed me not the less through its infinite
While the rest of the earth's crust has been making history and scenery
with all the great earth-molding forces steadily at work, this corner of the
world for ten thousand centuries and more has rested in the sun.
While mountains were folding and continents taking form, this land of patience lay
beneath a warm and shallow sea, the extension of the present Gulf of California. For
centuries untold its sands piled up layer on layer.
When at last the uplift of the Sierras changed the sands to dry land, then the forces
of erosion began and the sands were torn away as sleepily as they had been deposited
before. A mile or two in vertical depth had been stripped away from the whole surface,
leaving only flat-topped buttes here and there to testify to the depth of the ancient strata.
The flinty limestones half-way down interposed their resistance. The swift river from
the glacial mountains which had done this work narrowed its bounds and applied itself
more strictly to its business. Cutting at last through the flinty stone, it made quick work
of the shales beneath it, and dropping swiftly from level to level, it is now at work on the
granite core of the earth at the bottom.
THE RIVER WORKED ALONE.
Even in this it has made fair progress, but the river has done all this alone.
No ice, nor frost, nor earthquake, nor volcanic force has left its mark on the canyon.
Ice would have made a lake of it. Frosts would have changed its cliffs to slopes.
Earthquakes would have crumbled its walls, and volcanoes would have smeared them
with lava. But none of these forces came to mar or help.
In the simplest, easiest and laziest fashion rocks were deposited in the first place. In
the simplest, easiest and laziest fashion they have been torn up again, and a view from
the canyon rim almost anywhere shows at a glance how it was all done.
CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER.
ON THE BRINK OF rHE CANTON
BY CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER.
In the popular travel book written by the beloved American
author, Charles Dudley Warner, entitled "Our Italy" (published
and copyright, 1892, by Harper & Brothers'), occurs a chapter
on the Grand Canyon.
Mr. Warner visited Arizona on his way to California a
decade ago. He ventured the long ride from Flagstaff and
achieved the rare distinction of being the first noted American
author to tell the world about the greatest thing in it. By per-
mission of the publishers a few extracts from his canyon article
are appended. They reveal, as do Mr. Warner's other writings,
a scholarly temperament keenly appreciative of Nature's handi-
work and peculiarly susceptible to the subtle charm of scenery
like that of our southwestern wonderland.
THE MAGNIFICENCE OF IT.
HE whole magnificence broke upon us. No one could be prepared for it.
The scene is one to strike dumb with awe or to unstring the nerves; one
might stand in silent astonishment, another would burst into tears.
There are some experiences that cannot be repeated — one's first view of
Rome, one's first view of Jerusalem. But those emotions are produced by
association, by the sudden standing face to face with the scenes most wrought into our
whole life and education by tradition and religion. This was without association as it was
without parallel. It was a shock so novel that the mind, dazed, quite failed to com-
prehend it. All that we could grasp was a vast confusion of amphitheaters and strange
architectural forms resplendent with color. The vastness of the view amazed us quite
as much as its transcendent beauty. * * =;=
Turning suddenly to the scene from another point of view, I experienced for a
moment an indescribable terror of nature, a confusion of mind, a fear to be alone in such
a presence. With all this grotesqueness and majesty of form and radiance of color,
creation seemed in a whirl. * * *
CITY OF THE IMAGINATION.
I was continually likening this to a vast city rather than a landscape, but it was a city
of no man's creation nor of any man's conception. In the visions which inspired or
crazy painters have had of the New Jerusalem, of Babylon the Great, of a heaven in the
atmosphere with endless perspective of towers and steeps that hang in the twilight sky,
the imagination has tried to reach this reality. But here are effects beyond the artist,
forms the architect has not hinted at. * * * It is a city, but a city of the imagination.
It was long before I could comprehend the vastness of the view, see the enormous
chasms and rents and seams, and the many architectural ranges separated by great gulfs
between me and the wall of the mesa twelve miles distant. * * * An adequate
Niagara here should be at least three miles in breadth and fall 2,000 feet over one of
these walls. And the Yosemite, ah! the lovely Yosemite! Dumped down into this
ON THE BRINK OF THE CANTON. C. D. WARNER.
wilderness of gorges and mountains it would take a guide who knew its existence a long
time to find it. * * *
It reverses mountaineering to descend 6,000 feet for a view, and there is a certain
pleasure standing on a mountain summit without the trouble of climbing it. * * *
It is a great innovation in the modern ideas of scenery. To the eye educated to any
other it may be shocking, grotesque, incomprehensible; but those who have long and
carefully studied the Grand Canyon do not hesitate to pronounce it by far the most sub-
lime of all earthly spectacles. * * *
The reader will find the story of the making of the Grand Canyon more fascinating
than any romance. Without knowing this story, the impression that one has in looking
on this scene is that of immense antiquity, hardly anywhere else on earth so overwhelm-
ing as here. It has been here in all its lovely grandeur and transcendent beauty, exactly
as it is, for what to us is an eternity, unknown, unseen by human eye. '^' * '^ It is
only within a quarter of a century that the Grand Canyon has been known to the civi-
lized world. It is scarcely known now. It is a world largely unexplored. Those who
best know it are most sensitive to its awe and splendor. It is never twice the same.
* * * Travelers from the wide world will flock thither, for there is revealed the
long-kept secret, the unique achievement of nature.
RUINS OF CLIFF DWELLINGS, WALNUT CANYON, ARIZONA.
Photo, O. L. lit
A RHAPSODY BY ''FITZ-MAC"
At Colorado Springs, in the shadow of Pike's Peak, lives a
man who writes short tales of the West under the pen name
of "Fitz-Mac" — made from the first part of each of his names.
He likes a story and can tell one well. His style is irresist- .
ibly free; his writings bright, breezy and buoyant. He is a
"past master" in word painting, and in his romances of the
Rockies gets close to Nature.
By profession Mr. MacCarthy is a journalist. Writing one
June day from the Grand Canyon to his home paper, the Colo-
rado Springs Gazette, he opened up his own heart and laid bare
some of those personal impressions which come to us all, but
which are elusive and rarely coined into words. His letter is a
careful study of the emotions which this abysmal chasm produces:
A GEOLOGICAL APOCALYPSE.
HIS Grand Canyon of Arizona is the most stupendous and astounding of all
the natural wonders of the earth — and of all earth's natural wonders the latest
and the least known.
It is a geological apocalypse, half mystery and half revelation.
It is at once the most awful and the most irresistible thing I have ever
beheld. It is a paradox of chaos and repose, of gloom and radiance, of immeasurable
desolation and enthralling beauty. It is a despair and a joy; a woe and an ecstasy; a
requiem and a hallelujah; a world-ruin and a world-glory — everything in antithesis of
such titanic sort.
Grotesque architectural forms (ancient water-carvings), hundreds of miles of them,
loom gigantic and phantasmal through the half-concealing, half-revealing veil of chromatic
mist that hangs upon the stupendous spectacle. It is Nature with her flesh cast off reclin-
ing in her bones with a drapery of rainbows and smiling at Time and Death, puissant
enemies of man's inquisitiveness and divine ambition. Yet it is only a chasm in this wide,
mid-mountain desert, or semi-desert, of Utah and Arizona — a chasm as crooked as a
raveled thread of yarn and seven hundred miles long in zigzag measurement. And in that
chasm, more than a perpendicular mile below the rim of the plain from which we glimpse
its shining surface as a mere ribbon of water in the far and deep perspective, is a surging,
plunging, grinding river, deep enough to be navigated a thousand miles but for the rocky
rapids and plunging cataracts that obstruct — a river whose ancient banks it is thirteen
miles between, and through whose channel a rising continent slowly poured the waters of
a vast inland sea which covered "the great basin" of Utah, lower Idaho, Nevada and
part of Colorado some millions of years ago.
Between those far-echoing banks, all the phantasmal forms of rock mentioned before,
carved by the rushing, sand-laden waters — towers, domes and columns titanic, based in
the abyss, carved from the top downward, through thousands of feet of soft or vitreous
sandstones, through thousands more of marbleized limes, through other thousands (or
perhaps only hundreds) of adamantine granites. And the massive colors radiating from
these rocks as heat radiates, and blending in the silent, lonesome atmosphere of the desert
and the abyss into a very miracle of chromatic glory — what an unparalleled spectacle!
A RHAPSODY. ''FITZ-MACr
Oh, the awful grandeur of it ! Oh, the unique, the fearful, the mysterious, the irresistible
charm ! It is a spectacle that speaks to the soul of the sensitive and enlightened beholder
with the tongues of a million — of multi-million — years.
A THOUGHT-COMPELLING SCENE.
What a thought-compelling scene ! What a commentary on time and motion and
the patient, resistless will of world-forming nature ! A few inches — not many certainly —
has this river of the desert by the suave but ceaseless grinding of its waters, lowered its
bed in the adamantine granite since that yesterday, four thousand years or more ago,
when the Ptolemies were building their pyramid-tombs on the banks of the Nile; and
yet a thousand millions of Ptolemy-tombs would not fill ten miles of this abyss ! But
Time is Nature's servant while man is Time's.
Shrive yourself, oh gabbling and exclamatory seeker of wonders; smite your breast
with the clinched hand and cry Peccavi! Peccavi! oh, ye wearied and wearisome trotters
of the round and wondrous globe, if hither ye are coming to bathe your fretted and
satiated spirits in the red and yellow silences of this abysmal scene. Shrive yourselves,
ere you approach, of all your little, vainglorious conceits, of all your pretty, gabbling,
rhetorical formulas of exclamatory ecstasy. They have served you well enough, no
doubt, to voice the whole gamut of your delight, surprise and amazement in the presence
of such noble and pleasing wonders as Niagara, Yosemite, Yellowstone, or even the Alps;
but such safe and well-authorized exclamations as "magnificent," "grand," "sublime,"
have only a puny and altogether inadequate relation to the emotions that will be stirred
within you by the appalling grandeurs of this stupendous chasm. Here such rhapsodi-
cal exclamations do not fit. They will not half go round the girth of your amazement.
They are altogether inadequate, and if you utter them they will sound even to your own
ears petty and almost meaningless. If you be only the common-place, amiable, chatter-
ing, inquisitive globe-trotter and searcher-out of wonders, pause as you approach and
remove the sandals from your feet as one who hath sinned goeth up into the holy places
of the Lord seeking absolution. For you have sinned, oh, amiable globe-trotter, by
rashly denying the power of nature to surprise you again; to astonish, to amaze, to thrill,
to overawe, to subdue and reduce to silence your puerile, self-deceiving, exclamatory
ecstasy by the tragic spectacle of devastation immeasureable, and by the bewildering
mystery of splendors unique, resistless and overwhelming which Chaos hath wrought
and here hidden away in the bosom of this wide, mid-mountain desert.
Here you might lose a hundred Yosemites and never be able to find them again.
Here a dozen Niagaras would form but minor details in the stupendous scene. You
might scatter the whole mass of the Alps through the 300 miles of this abysmal chasm
in Arizona without filling it up — 700 miles in total length, but not throughout of such
sublimity as here.
Who can adequately describe the scene? — who can describe the indescribable?
In its stupendous ensemble the spectacle is too vast for art. It is indeed almost too
much for human thought. You cannot behold it for the first time without a gasp, how-
ever blase your emotions have become by globe-trotting. There is a spirit of cosmic
tragedy, of divine woe, in the scene which sends a diffused pain through the emotions
while yet you are enraptured by its beauty. And the sublime pathos in it all, no art, I
think, can touch — or scarcely touch, for on reflection I am not sure but Moran's noble
picture does strongly suggest it. It is this divine woe in the scene that presses the
unconscious sob from your breast, you know not why, as you gaze.
IN NEED OF SYMPATHY.
It is not the matchless immensity of it, I think, that overcomes you, but that your
senses cannot quite encompass and analyze its unique and elusive quality. This great
impassive thing that frightens you by its appalling immensity, that enthralls your imag-
ination by the magic of its matchless beauty, that bewilders and mystifies your senses by
the vague suggestion of fragrance and melody in its gorgeous purples, and by the vast,
echoless silences of its Pompeiian reds and yellows, is inexorable and unresponsive to
your puny emotions. That is what fills you with a nameless longing, a divine regret.
That is what makes you sob unconsciously as you gaze off into the abysmal, chromatic
splendors of the scene. Your soul hungers for a sympathy which the great spectacle is
too impassive, too inexorable, to yield. The inexorable always affects us like that in our
psychic moods. The generous mind receives always a sensation of diffused pain from
any spectacle or any emotion that baffles complete expression, and the divine pathos of
this is as undefinable, as inexorable, v.s resistless as death — and as lovely as the hope of
Is it the sympathy of one sense with another (it must be that) which beguiles the
reason into belief that the colors in this ravishing, chromatic maze are endued with the
magic of melody and odor? This is something not to be insisted on, nor denied; you
feel it or (for you) it is not so. Of course if you are hopelessly sane you do not feel
anything of the kind.
THE WORLD'S SUBLIMEST TRAGEDY.
It behooves you, oh, you of the soulless kodak and the loquacious guide-book, to
come meekly and with bared feet into the presence of this wonder that dwarfs all other
wonders of the world, for it is here and not elsewhere that Nature has done her utter-
most; here a world's sublimest tragedy was enacted — is still enacting with all scenes set;
a tableau vivant, a glorified despair, a divine woe; gorgeous, mysterious and abysmal;
a triumph of chaos and devastation ; yet not ghastly and forbidding, strange to say, but
THROUGH THE PINES, FLAGSTAFF TO WALNUT CANYON.
A RHAPSODT. '*FITZ-MACr
fascinating, for this imperial tragedy is not set amidst ignoble and plebeian scenes, but is
draped and curtained with all the massive and imposing dignity of Pompeiian reds and
yellows; with all the imperial magnificence of the Tyrian purple; with all the gorgeous
splendors of orange hues vanishing into violet, that go with a tropical sunset; with
amber-greenish lights that belong to the creeping break of dawn — and all these, the
massive, the gorgeous, the magnificent, the sensuous, the brilliant, the mellow, the tender,
swept and swirled by great Nature's unerring brush into a ravishing, harmonious, chro-
matic revelation that bursts upon the view with an effect as if the skies had opened and
all the choirs of heaven had broken into a grand and joyful overture, an allegro through
which runs a vague but penetrating minor chord of woe.
Hither, to this point of the chasm whence I am writing, long ago came Thomas Moran,
the painter, and painted for the people of the United States that great scene which hangs
in the capitol, and which only a few can as yet appreciate — the few who have beheld the
wonderful spectacle. All others are bound to regard it as a luxurious lotus-dream of
color and mystery.
Moran's great picture tells the truth as one sees the truth, gazing upon the scene
with the poet's eyes and feeling its frightful grandeur with a poet's soul. Any other
conception of it is worse than nothing — measurements, calculations, note-book loquacity,
kodak mementos, all these vulgarize the impression of a thing too stupendous and too
completely unique to furnish the mind with any direct and definite expression; and no
one, save only Moran — certainly no artist of the pen — has found even approximate
expression for the unique splendors, the fascination and the awe of this unparalleled scene.
But for a truth the finest effects here are altogether uncommunicable by brush or
pen. They give themselves up only to the personal presence, and no painter or writer
can do more than suggest what they are by indicating how they make him feel. You
cannot paint a silence, nor a sound, nor an odor, nor an emotion, nor a sob. If you are
skillful you may suggest them to the imagination but that is all, and Moran's fine picture
does that admirably. It gives one sublime glimpse of that mysterious and abysmal
repose, one irresistible suggestion of those vast and sublime silences, one amazing flash
of that marvelous scheme of color, suggesting melody and fragrance. And that is all
which human skill can convey by brush or pen.
This is certainly no scene to be boggled by your sign-painting blockhead of an artist,
with complacent reliance on his compasses and perspective scale, and paint pot and
palette. There is a great tragic soul in the scene, which the soul in the artist must clasp
or fail utterly.
NO PLACE FOR RHETORIC.
And as for the gifted space-writer — well, everything can be forgiven in this over-
whelming presence except rhetoric. Here, where anguish struggles against joy for the soul
of the beholder, rhetoric is worse than a mockery of the thoughts incommunicable that
surge through the mind — here, by this deep pre-Egyptian grave of Nature's patient
digging, gorgeous, mysterious and solemn, where Time, the mother of worlds, has sep-
ulchered her dead children, the centuries and millenniums of the past — here, where winds
are born and cradled — here, where desert sunsets faint and fall and daily spill their
gorgeous colors on the columned walls of Time's abysmal tomb, rhetoric is something
worse than a presumptuous and profitless vanity; it is a profanation.
Pray spare me, in this mysterious and subduing presence, from the categorical
inquiries that will naturally rush
to your tongue — I cannot answer
them; my emotions, this day, are in
thrall and I wish to reflect on "the
thoughts that arise in me." This
wonder has been scientifically ob-
served, surveyed and studied by
technical experts for the government,
and you will find all that you would
ask soberly and precisely answered in
the government's magnificent publi-
cations on the subject, which will be
found in any large library. Ask to
see the report on the expedition
of Lieutenant Whipple of 1853-4;
the expedition of Lieutenant Ives in
1858; that of Major Powell about
1868; that by Lieutenant Wheeler,
published in 1875, ^o^- ^^^j ^"^^
whatever else has followed. If you
can read but one. Major Powell's is by
far the completest — a superb publica-
tion, containing illuminated litho-
COME AND SEE.
Come to see it. There is no
hardship in the journey. The rail-
road now comes directly to the Grand
Canyon. You must not conclude
that because it is in Arizona it will be
found hot. All the way to the
"rim" the altitude is about 7,000 feet
and the temperature, in consequence,
is as cool and refreshing as by the
Come and behold the indescrib-
able scene, where silence seems to have
dimension and color, and color to have
melody and fragrance.
ON BOUCHER TRAIL.
CLIMBING SUNSET MOUNTAIN, ARIZONA.
BY PROF. CHARLES E. B EEC HER.
The trip to the top of Sunset Mountain, and the wide view
obtained from its summit, is a fitting introduction to the
Grand Canyon, whose north wall is distinctly seen from the
When the main travel canyon-ward was by way of Flag-
staff, "Sunset" was a topic of interest to all tourists. Even now
this unique uplift merits particular mention in a book devoted
to the canyon district.
Prof C. E. Beecher, professor of historical geology, Yale
University, New Haven, Conn., has kindly furnished an account
of his experiences on Sunset Mountain, which he visited with a
party from Yale University six summers ago.
This is what he writes:
RIGHTLY NAMED. ,,
DICTIONARY of geographical terms would doubtless reveal the fact that
early discoverers have designated a goodly number of salient points on the
earth's crust as "Sunset" mountains. However this may be, there is one
alone that is the Simon-pure article; only one that is at sunset in the morn-
ing, at noon and at night; but one that, scorning the elsewhere necessary
obliquity of the sun's rays, has its own sun-kissed summit fixed in enduring dyes. The
one mountain possessing these remarkable qualities is Sunset Mountain, Arizona.
On the map this mountain is indicated as one of the great cluster of satellites sur-
rounding the base of that noble volcanic mountain mass, San Francisco Peaks, from
which it lies about ten miles to the eastward. Except by title, its distinguishing features
are not represented, and the skeptical student of geography might naturally surmise that
the name had been given from some chance occurrence or from a lack of characteristics,
as so often happens. Such, however, is not the case.
SCENES ON THE WAY.
Our Yale party, westbound over the Santa Fe — was first gladdened, after crossing the
treeless wastes of eastern Arizona, by a vision of the mountains on the Colorado Plateau.
Before leaving the desert the gash in the rising billows of rock known as Canyon Diablo
is crossed, and a few miles beyond a sprinkling of cedars dots the landscape. Soon we
are in a forest of dwarf cedar and pinon, increasing in density and height as the railroad
climbs the plateau. By the time the outposts of the mountains are reached that splen-
did tree, the yellow pine of the West, dominates the forest and makes it one of the finest
sylvan regions in America,
Our destination is Flagstafi\, lying almost at the foot of San Francisco Peaks.
Some time before reaching it we are treated to occasional glimpses of a mountain difi^ering
from all the others. Its blackened sides and its summit bathed in a warm glow of red
and yellow proclaim its name. Neither map nor compass are needed to recognize
it as Sunset Mountain.
The attractive and hospitable town of Flagstaff, with its circle of natural curiosities
CLIMBING SUNSET MOUNTAIN.
C. E. B EEC HER.
and scenic wonders, is a most convenient tarrying place. The little excursion here
described is but one of many that may be taken, each having an objective point of pleas-
ure and interest.
For a considerable distance the road from Flagstaff follows along the old stage route
to the Grand Canyon of Arizona, and skirts the eastern base of San Francisco Peaks
through what is known as Coconino Park. A drive of two or three miles brings us to
one end of a lake basin thoroughly drained a few years ago by part of the bottom falling
out, leaving the Bottomless Pits to show the mode of exit of the water. A branch road
along this former lake bed leads to Walnut Canyon, the ancient abode of the cliff-
dwellers. After traveling a few miles we make a short detour to visit the ruder habita-
tions of a like-vanished race, the cave-dwellers. These evidences of the mole men, or
troglodytes, are on the summit of a lava cone several hundred feet above the valley.
The outlook is one of considerable extent and grandeur. The higher peaks of the moun-
tains are in full view near at hand, and the inimitable "Sunset" here presents some of its
most pronounced effects.
The caves are volcanic vents enlarged by primitive man to form irregular rooms.
Sometimes two or three lead into each other, thus constituting a suite of apartments. The
outside entrance, or doorway, often opens upward, and the presence of a low ruined wall
surrounding it suggests that there may have been exterior rooms and possibly a protecting
roof. The inhabitants were not without skill, for we find abundant remains of well-made
and beautifully decorated pottery, as well as stone implements, including a number of
metates, or mealing stones.
Our road continues over the hard surface of disintegrated lava beds and through the
forest of pines. There is an almost entire absence of fallen timber and undergrowth,
which in most places mar the aspect and make travel so difficult. No forest fires or
lumber camps have as yet blasted and scourged this region, which still remains in its
original perfection and beauty.
NEARING THE BASE.
A few miles farther on we leave the main road and turn in the direction of our des-
tination. The harsh grating of the wheels and the sinking of the horses' feet warn us
that we have entered a cinder-covered area, and are approaching centers of more recent
volcanic activity. As we advance the cinders become more incoherent and travel more
A LAVA FIELD.
CLIMBING SUNSET MOUNTAIN.
C. E. BEECHER.
difficult, until, when about a mile from Sunset, we are forced to pity the straining horses
and terminate our progress on wheels.
Sunset Mountain is before us, but we are separated from it by a barrier which seems
impassable without wings. A lava field stretches directly in front. Its forbidding surface
has been tossed and riven by the opposing elements of fire and steam until it represents
a perfect chaos of black tumult. Had the lava stream cooled but yesterday, its surface
would have been neither fresher nor rougher. Its scoriaceous and blistered exterior seems
to have suffered no change, and lichens, even, have not gained a foothold.
Adopting the suggestion of the driver as to a route which would enable us to cross
the lava field, we set forth. At one point a wide crack extends deep into the flow.
Entering this we find progress feasible, and, by clambering over a few bad places and
picking out cinder patches, we succeed in reaching the other side. The lower slopes
of the mountain are gently undulating stretches of fine cinders entirely devoid of grass,
but with some scattering pines. Very perfect little cinder cones rise up here and there,
while interspersed with them are fantastic masses of lava hoodoos projecting their scorched
forms above the smooth cinder beds, like nunataks. Occasional holes show where explo-
sions have taken place, bulging the lava around the edge and hurling huge blocks to a
considerable distance. As we approach the mountain we find that Sunset, too, engaged
in the practice of lofty gunnery, as attested by numerous lava bombs lying about the
base. Here the powerful forces of nature are now at rest, and this scene of former
orographic strife is succeeded by one of gentle quiet in which the sighing of the pines and
the occasional twitter of a passing bird alone break the stillness.
We selected a route up the mountain leading over a cinder-buried lava flow which
streamed out of a notch in the summit rim. As soon as the ascent was b^gun we fully
realized that Sunset is a gigantic, incoherent cinder volcano, and also that fine cinders
lying at the critical angle of repose constitute a most difficult incline for bipeds. A long
step upward resulted in starting a miniature landslide that buried the lower foot and
brought the^upper one down to nearly the same level. It required a great many of these
long strides, with resultant short steps, to make visible progress. The most satisfactory
method was to zigzag at a rather low angle and thus avoid the effort of extricating the
lower foot. One could hardly help being reminded of the sand-pit described as the
RESIDENCE SECTION OF FLAGSTAFF.
CLIMBING SUNSET MOUNTAIN.
C. E. BE EC HER.
abode of the Dead Alive, in "The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes," only we realized
that all there was to do to get out of the dilemma, and escape from a Gunga Dass, was
to slide to the bottom.
When we were about 300 feet below the summit there was a marked change from
black to brick-red in the color of the cinders. We had entered the region of perpetual
sunset. Farther up, the evidences of fumarole action, with its bleaching effects, were
everywhere apparent. The color of the rocks first became a rich chrome, but as we
approached the top we passed over zones of bright lemon-yellow and finally pure white.
This was the secret of the mountain.
Reaching the highest point, we turned about us to study the surroundings. The
mountain itself had a perfectly circular crater in the summit, estimated at a quarter of a
mile across, 400 feet deep and having the form of an inverted cone. To the west were
the San Francisco Peaks, those ever-present landmarks of northern Arizona. To the
south we looked over a vast area of forest and hills. In the eastern foreground were
grouped several superb cinder cones, similar to the one we were on, though less lofty,
while about them were smaller cones. Numerous lava beds reached like fingers far out
to the edge of the plateau, as if to grasp the iridescence of the far-away Painted Desert.
It was difficult to realize that the week before we were struggling over its deceptive
rainbow-tinted wastes to reach the distant Moki Land.
Fully sixty miles to the north, over an unbroken stretch of forest, rise the banded
walls of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, with, beyond, the great Kaibab Plateau
joining the line of the horizon. The stupendous expanse of the ramparts of the canyon
stretching as far as the eye can reach, and the luminosity of the abyss across whose
mysterious depths our vision extends, make us realize that we are on the threshold of
the sublime. Loth to leave this entrancing prospect without a complete antithesis, we
descend to the bottom of the crater where all is shut out with blackness save a circle of
azure overhead. Pausing again on the crater's rim, we feel that our first introduction to
northern Arizona has been a success. As a geographic picture, it has surpassed the best
maps; as a natural object lesson, it has been fruitful of results.
It requires no effort to descend Sunset!
BOTTOM OF CRATER.
HENRY P. EWING.
CATARACT CANYON, ARIZONA.
BY HENRY P. EWING.
Mr. Henry P. Ewing, at one time United States Indian
Agent in charge of the Wallapai and Havasupai Indians, with
headquarters at Truxton, Ariz., furnishes expressly for this work
an interesting account of Cataract Canyon.
Mr. Ewing has resided among these tribes since boyhood.
He has made a careful study of their language, religion, customs,
etc., and speaks both languages fluently. While engaged as
agent for them he carefully studied the geological conditions of
that beautiful side gorge known as Cataract Canyon, a place
which comparatively few tourists have visited, but which for
romantic beauty and unique interest is well worth seeing. One
may here study the Indian problem a little at first hand, as
well as admire Nature's work.
IN the legends of the Wallapai and Havasupai it is related how and why the
Cataract Canyon was selected by the Havasupais as a home.
It was thus:
When the several families, or bands of people, who afterward became the
great tribes of the southwest, left their sacred canyon (Mat-a-we-dit-ta) by
direction of their Moses (Ka-that-ka-na-ve) to find new homes, the Havasupai family
journeyed eastward on the trail taken by the Navajo and Hopi. One night they camped
in the Cataract Canyon, and early on the morrow took up their burdens to proceed on
their journey, but just as they were starting a little child of the party began to cry, and
the Kohot of the family, knowing this to be a warning from the Great Spirit, decided to
remain and live in the canyon.
They found a fertile valley of some five hundred acres of level land, which was easily
irrigated from the river that bursts clear and sparkling from a thousand springs at the
base of the great clifi^s, and rushes on, over successive cataracts, to join the Rio Colorado in
its vast canyon. They called the place Ha-va-sua, meaning Blue Water; and by-and-by
themselves were known as Ha-va-sua-pai (dwellers by the Blue Water), which rather
pretty sounding name has in some unaccountable way become corrupted into "Yava
Supai," "Supai" and "Suppai" by the whites, who have attempted to use the Indian name.
Smile not at this primitive child of nature, who thought he heard the voice of the
Great Spirit in the crying of this child, for if you should stand in the spot where these
primitive people stood and view the stupendous works wrought by the Supreme Architect,
you will see the work of His hands in the massive cliffs that tower sublimely beyond the
power of man to grasp. You may then understand why the child of nature, standing in
the presence of nature's greatest achievement, may think he hears the voice of the Great
Spirit in the breeze, the brook, the singing of the birds; and sees the impress of His power
in these great castles and towers.
METHOD OF FORMATION.
Seventy-five miles north of Seligman station, on the Santa Fe, the beautiful blue
waters of the Cataract River burst from beneath massive beds of sandstone and limestone
CATARACT CANTON, ARIZONA.
HENRT P. EWING.
rock, 4,000 feet in thickness. Owing to a peculiar characteristic of the rock strata in the
whole of this region (it being "cross-bedded," or broken and cracked vertically as well as
stratified horizontally), perpendicular walls thousands of feet in height are possible.
No other gorges are like those in the Grand Canyon region.
The cause is simple and plain — this previous cross-bedding or vertical fracture of the
strata by some force causes the rock to let go from its place on the side of the canyon
wall in long blocks, cracking off from the wall often in masses the full height of the
canyon wall. In this way the vertical face of the canyon wall is forever preserved, no
matter how deep the waters may erode, nor how wide the canyon may become by the
falling off of these rectangular blocks of stone.
It is this same characteristic and peculiarity that accounts for the scarcity of springs of
living water on the great plateaus above.
For these vertical seams and cracks in the strata allow the water from the rain and
snowfall above to percolate through its 4,000 feet of strata until it reaches a strata of
limestone, not cross-bedded, and which first crops out in the bed of the canyon at the
villages of Havasupai. Having reached this impervious strata, all the drainage from the
thousands of square miles of plateau above bursts forth through its thousand orifices
into the Cataract Canyon, forming the sparkling blue river Havasu
But here another wonder meets the sight. While this water was percolating through
these successive layers of limestone rock it became impregnated to saturation with lime.
Copyright, 1901, by
O. Wharton Jttmen.
HOME OF HAVASUPAI INDIANS. Copyright, lom, hp HAVASUPAI WOMAN WITH KATHAK.
O. Wharton James.
CATARACT CANTON, ARIZONA. HENRT P. EJVING.
and as soon as it comes out of the rock and the carbon dioxide of the air comes in con-
tact with it the Hme becomes insoluble and is deposited. During the centuries past this
river has deposited such vast quantities of marl that four great dams have been built up,
forming barriers across the canyon over which the river pours in cascades of such beauty
and grandeur as to be beyond the power of pen to describe. Above the first dam the
debris has filled in the canyon to the top of the dam, forming a level and fertile valley
of some 500 acres. This land is cultivated by the Havasupais in a primitive way,
following, no doubt, the methods learned from the cliff-dwellers, who occupied the
dwellings still to be seen high up in the canyon walls, and evidently cultivated the soil
in the valley below. Many of these ancient dwellings, well preserved, are visible to the
tourist, high up in crevices in the rocks.
RIVER AND FALLS.
After rushing in foaming torrents over Supai and Navajo falls, fifty and seventy-five
feet high, respectively, the Havasu glides through a narrow canyon for half a mile, in a
valley matted with masses of trees, vines and ferns, the delicate green of whose foliage
contrasts beautifully with the dead gray walls of the deep, dark canyon.
Then leaping over another barrier, built by itself, the crystal waters dash in clouds of
spray through masses of ferns, mosses and trees 175 feet perpendicularly into a great
seething pool below. This is called the Bridal Veil Falls, from the cloud of mist and
spray that ever hangs about it, and in the sunlight reflects rainbows.
For three miles we follow the swiftly but smoothly gliding stream through a canyon,
whose perpendicular walls of gray limestone seem to meet overhead in the blue of the
sky. Such a chasm as this does not exist elsewhere. What contrast between those dull,
cold, gray, sky-reaching limestone walls that fill us with awe and dread, and the beau-
tiful verdure and foliage of a semi-tropic clime strewn in profligate profusion below and
We now come to the scenic climax of this little wonderland — the Mooney Falls.
Leaping over another self-built barrier in the narrow, and now much deeper gorge, the
entire volume of water (a stream four feet deep and twenty feet wide) leaps in one solid
mass 300 feet perpendicularly into a seemingly bottomless pool below, where the dark
blue waters, after foaming and boiling for awhile, rush away to mingle their pure crystal
tide with the ever turbid flood of the Colorado.
Nothing can equal or surpass the vastness of the Grand Canyon of Arizona, but for
a beauty and sublimity peculiar to itself the subordinate Cataract Canyon stands alone.
Cataract Canyon is about forty miles from El Tovar. There is a wagon road for twenty-
five miles to within two miles of the rim of Topocobya Canyon — part of the way across
small hills near the south wall of the Grand Canyon, and the remaining distance across a
level country in the grateful shade of scrub oak and juniper. If a detour is made to
Bass* Camp the distance is a few miles greater. A well-defined trail leads to where the
abrupt descent begins. From the top of Topocobya to the Supai village is about thirteen
miles. The descent from the rim can only be made on horse-back, which necessitates
taking along pack and saddle animals, also a complete camp outfit and provisions for man
and beast. The trip. Bright Angel to Havasupai, can be made in fifteen hours contin-
uous travel, but a longer time is taken in order to camp at Topocobya over night.
CATARACT CANTON, ARIZONA.
HENRT P. EWING.
The journey should only be undertaken by those accustomed to roughing it, as at
the best some fatigue may be expected, although ladies have recently made the trip
without much inconvenience. There are no regular accommodations now for the
"Supai" side tour, but one may engage a team and saddle animals at El Tovar. Special
advance arrangements must be made for same. The cost varies with the size of the party
and the time spent at destination.
According to a recent rule, visitors to the reservation must first obtain a permit
from the Santa Fe agent at Grand Canyon.
One should arrange to stay in Cataract Canyon at least two days.
Note by Editor — The Havasupais number 250 persons. Their village in Cataract (or Havasu) Canyon is
not often visited. It is scattered for three miles along willow-lined Havasu Creek, from the school house to Bridal
Veil Falls. These Indians are chiefly farmers, raising corn, pumpkins, melons and peaches, and are self-supporting;
they also make baskets. The United States Government has established a school here. Near by are interesting ruins
and cHfF dwellings. There are other Indians in the Grand Canyon region who occasionally visit the Havasupais,
The Utes tramp down from Nevada, crossing at West Ferry; the Wallapais come in from near Hackberry and
Peach Springs, and the Mokis from north of Canyon Diablo — mainly attracted by the Peach Dance, an interesting
ceremony which occurs the latter part of August, when the main crop of fruit is ready for drying. The Wallapais
and the Chimihuevis frequently intermarry with the dwellers in Cataract Canyon.
BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, CATARACT CANYON.
JOHN HANCE: A STUDY.
BY HAMLIN GARLAND.
Where the Rockies reach starward are beauty and grandeur,
silence and power. These influences work upon the men and
women who dwell there, and if the sojourn be long enough and
outside of any community, the result is a personality unlike that
of the average American.
All outdoors is so big and still, so full of peaks or so hori-
zon-open, so free from crowding and crowds, and so supreme in
authority, that the sons of the hills become individualists — each
fulfilling his own mission in his own way.
Thus we find unique characters everywhere in the South-
west. John Hance, the Grand Canyon guide, is one of them —
a little overpraised and overrated, perhaps, but still a striking
figure and closely identified with tourist travel to the canyon.
Hamlin Garland tells of Hance's peculiar ways in the following sketch, here repro-
duced by permission of the author:
^HE man who ought to be remembered with the Grand Canyon of the Colorado
is not a scientist, nor a painter, nor a poet. He is only an old pioneer who has
summered and wintered with the Grand Canyon for twelve years. His name
is John Hance. Some people call him Old John Hance, and he calls himself,
at times, old Captain John Hance, and I believe he has a m.ilitary record to
back up the title. It doesn't matter, he holds a better one.
Your friends who have been to the canyon will say: "See the canyon, of course, but
don't fail to see old John Hance," and I hereby celebrate, also, the personality of the
man who made the canyon his home when it was practically an unexplored wonder.
I do not care to go behind the old man's own statement of the case, for that statement
is so good it ought to be final, even if it isn't.
In the summer of 1869, Major Powell and party made the only descent by boat that
had ever been known in this stupendous gorge. But what of that? In 1883, John
Hance came upon the canyon — in a prospecting tour; admired it, loved it, and has
lived with it ever since and expects to die beside it and be buried in it — God willing
and man aiding.
It is a pleasure to have visited the Grand Canyon, and an honor to have explored it,
but it is a glory to have loved it and lived beside it to the exclusion of neighbors, friends,
wife and children. It has claimed all there is of John Hance. His loyalty is unques-
tioned. He talks of it, dreams of it, his gestures delineate it, his talk conforms to it.
HIS SUMMER HOME.
In summer he lives on the rim, and the door of his little cabin commands one of the
finest views of the most tremendous gulf in the world — the point where the Colorado
River breaks through the Buckskin Plateau. At sunset, when his evening snack is eaten,
John can pull a stool to the very edge of the awful chasm and there sit and smoke his
pipe and watch the splendid colors shift and glow, and cool, and darken in the deeps, and
Photo, W. H. Knap.
COLORADO R]VER, FOOT OF BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL.
JOHN HANCE: A STUDT. HAMLIN GARLAND.
flare behind the sculptured peaks like banners, as if some hidden flaming fire were trying
to outdo the glory of the sky. He chose this site because he loved it. He had a
cabin at first which was more sheltered by the pines, but he couldn't see his canyon,
so he moved.
Here he lives, surrounded by his mules until October comes — and then, when the
cold winds threaten and snow begins to slide along the high plateau, John mounts his
favorite mule, and driving all his cattle before him, descends 6,000 feet and finds perpet-
ual summer. On the sage-green bushes, 1,000 feet above the river, his cattle feed. In
his tent among the mesquite trees, the old pioneer lives, while far above him the harsh
winds howl and the whirling snow falls foot by foot, blocking every road and piling high
above his cabin.
At his door the sullen, tawny-red flood roars, laden with millions of tons of soil,
crashing its mighty bowlders together, gnawing upon the cliff^s, sinking itself in the solid
rock like a file into an anvil. In the daytime as John works at his forge, or rides after
his cattle, the river's voice grows dim and small, but at night when, with his pipe in
hand, he sits at the door of his tent and the darkness rises from the flood like an exhala-
tion, then the river awakes, its roar grows louder, angrier, more tumultuous. It comes
at last to dominate the whole valley. It then appears the potentiality it really is — the
power which has hewn out this incomprehensible chasm between the mountainous clifi^s.
The tourist sees the canyon from the rim or during one day on the trail, but John
sees it 365 days in the year, and each day it is difi^erent. He sees it when the gray
clouds roof it in like some prodigious dim temple. He sees it when the tall peaks are
white as marble and the upper canyons are filled with ice; when the streams around him
are quickened by melting snow and the grass grows green again through falling rain.
He sees it in a thousand varied, harmonious eflfects of light and shade — in moonlight, in
starlight, in dawnlight.
In the winter days when there is nothing else to do (and there could be nothing
better to do), John goes exploring the mysterious presence. Driving his burro, laden
with a camping outfit, he strikes out along the river. One winter he explores up, the
next winter down. In very truth he knows the canyon for a hundred miles, knows
it and loves it — does not fear it. He knows that in the midst of these overawing
immensities there are grassy nooks where the ferns grow and water falls with merry
gurgle. The canyon has a thousand moods when one comes to live with it. John has
seen them all.
He knows, too, the cliff-dwellers' houses, mere swallow nests in the unscalable clifi^s,
and he muses upon the antiquity of man, and most of all upon the antiquity of this river
bed. He speaks often of the mighty dikes of granite through which the river has
chiseled its way, and asks: "Who can tell how long it has taken to drill through rock
like that? Long enough to make men of no account on this earth — surely."
He has come, naturally, to feel a sort of proprietorship here. He recognized the
grim resolution of Powell in going through it when every bend in its river was unknown
and threatening — but he knows that it can be traversed to-day without much danger.
JOHN HANCE: A STUDT.
Powell and Moran had the cultivated faculty of letting the world know of their discover-
ies. Old John has only the power of his tongue, which is considerable, but does not
reach the great world.
A STORY TELLER.
There are those who laugh at John Hance and see nothing in him. Others acknowl-
edge him to be a powerful and astonishing fictionist. Consciously he is a teller of
whopping lies. Unconsciously he is one of the most dramatic and picturesque natural
raconteurs I have ever met. His experiences as a soldier, as a guide on the plains, as a
prospector, as a hunter, furnish him with an enormous fund of actual adventure, which he
tells with the power of actor and fictionist combined — provided he does not become self-
conscious. Unless carefully handled his wit is labored and artificial.
He is a Tennesseean, and his soft^ drawling voice and accented auxiliary verbs add
quaintness and distinction to his stories. His gift for telling phrases is as great in its
way as that of Whitcomb Riley. His profanity is never commonplace. It blazes out
like some unusual firework and illumines his story for yards around. It is not profanity;
it is dramatic fervor. He has his weaknesses like the rest of us, and they are apparent
to any casual comer.
But the man has, also, something elemental about him — something which makes his
frame invincible to cold and hunger. He would be lost, and helpless, and ill at ease in
Chicago or New York, but here he is native. To think of him jogging down the trail
in the autumn, a minute speck of living matter, to spend five months alone in that stu-
pendous abyss, is to come to the man's real quality. And he does this, be it understood,
not as an act of bravado, not as a scientist to explore for a winter, but to live there as a
matter of choice.
He has his stories of vast gold mines, it is true, but nobody believes them. If they
were there — what matter? It is a government park reservation. He has his theory that
all the washings of gold from the San Juan country for a million years, are lodged along
this river bed, and if it could be turned aside at certain places there would be tons of
gold lying in-»the pot holes in the granite, but there it lies and there it must forever
remain beneath that enormous ferocious flood.
He does not fear to be out of the world, for he has beside him the one incontestable
wonder of God's earth. If he waits long enough, all the world will come to him. All
the poets and scientists and geologists — all the people really worth knowing will come to
see old John and his canyon, and I here say deliberately they are both worth while.
CAMP, HEAD OF BASS TRAIL.
HAT has been said about the Grand Canyon would fill many books. Many
thousand tourists have visited the scene. Each has tried, by word of mouth,
by pen, or by picture, to put individual impressions into some lasting form.
Out of a large file of newspaper clippings and letters, the following
have been selected as fairly typical of how the canyon appears to tourists,
journalists, business men, educators and others. Only brief extracts are given:
I have seen all the wonders of the new world. The Grand Canyon is the grandest
of them all. — C. P. Bond, of Boston Journal.
I think it is very, very deep and grand, and that it Aiust have taken a very long time
to make it. I would like to stay here forever, it is so beautiful. — Carglinte Hadley,
(aged 9 years),
Imagine, if you can, all the armies of all the nations of the earth, marching in solid
columns from opposite sides of this appalling gorge to meet each other in battle array,
unconscious of the existence of this spot until too late to save themselves from being
swallowed up in its abysmal depths; imagine all these vast bodies of men, with all the
guns, all the horses — infantry, cavalry, artillery, sappers, miners and pontoniers — all the
transportation trains and all the impedimenta of an army, together with all the buildings
of all the cities of the world; imagine all this vast aggregation of men and material
thrown into this immeasurable abyss, and the Grand Canyon would still remain unfilled
for its entire length, and the Colorado River would continue to flow unintercepted on
its resistless course to the sea. In its measureless, cruel, insatiable maw all would be
swallowed up. — Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, Los Angeles Times.
There are mountains that reach almost to the moon; there are oceans that spread
over nearly half the universe; there are pyramids, palaces, monuments, cathedrals which
excite awe and admiration; there are mighty rivers and cataracts; but there is only one
Grand Canyon of the Colorado, and those who have placed it within the reach of ordin-
ary travelers have done the world an important service. * * * It is a stupendous
intaglio, carved in the silent Arizona desert by river, rain and winds. ■^* '^' ''''' * *•
There is nothing to compare with it anywhere in the world. It is impossible to exag-
gerate the grandeur, the sublimity, the impressiveness of the scenery; and its fascination
cannot be accurately described. — William E. Curtis, in Chicago Record-Herald.
In coming to this place I had half a wish and half a purpose to write a description
of it; but, now that I have seen it, I feel that description of it is, for me, impossible.
The hand that wrote the Hymn to Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni, might have made
a word picture of this wonderful scene, or, better still, might have expressed the emotion
it inspires; but that hand is at rest, and no fellow to it exists on earth. One word, how-
ever, can be written, and that is a word of urgent counsel to the American traveler not
to seek the marvels of Europe till he has first looked upon this marvel of his native
land. — William Winter, in New York Tribune.
I have seen the Grand Canyon! No painter can paint it — no photographer can
photograph it. To me its awfulness is lost in its marvelous beauty. I shall never forget
the first impression I got from Grand View Point one afternoon in November. The sky
was without a cloud and the atmosphere was indescribably clear; the whole scene was
phantom-like, unreal, almost unearthly. — G. H. Buek, Vice-President American Litho-
The vision of the canyon at sunset is one of the marvels. All its colors are inten-
sified and the reds and yellows burn like coals. When the low sun gilds the red sand-
stone masses, oceans of rose-flame sweep up the walls, more and more brilliant as they
climb, until the topmost thousand feet of the farther rim blaze with the fire of hyacinth,
ruby and garnet. All the sky is gorgeous with pink light, yet the pinnacles of rock that
catch the last gleams are more brilliant than the clouds. The splendor rises and fades
and is caught by the vapors overhead. After the sky colors, too, have faded, you are
about to turn away, lingering, regretting, when — again, a wonder; for new colors, deep,
tender, solemn, flow up along the painted walls, as night brims out of the deep. The
bottom grows vague and misty, but each Walhalla is steeped in purple as soft as the
bloom of grapes. When day is wholly gone and the canyon has become to the eye a
mere feeling or impression of depth and space, walk out on some lonely point. The
slopes, thirteen miles away, are visible as gray walls, distinct from the black cliffs, and on
the hither side the trees are clear against the snow. No night is absolute in blackness,
but as we look it seems as though the canyon was lighted from within. It is an abyss
of shadow and mystery. There is a sadness in the canyon, as in all great things of
nature, that removes it from human experience. We have seen the utmost of the world's
sublimity and life is fuller from that hour. — C. M. Skinner, in Brooklyn Eagle.
It is the only scenery on the globe that does not disappoint. Suddenly, without any
premonition, the earth yawns beneath you! You stand upon the brink of the bottomless
pit. Terrible! An indescribable emotion seizes you. You wish to topple forward, to
fling yourself into that awful chaotic chasm. You recoil, step back and lift your eyes,
and, lo, the gates of paradise seem swinging before you, and through them you see the
walls and ramparts and golden streets of a city not made with hands.
And that is just what the Grand Canyon is — a combination of regions infernal and
celestial. I am not going to try to describe it, for before its superhuman majesty, its
splendor, its loveliness, words become as sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal. I wish
only to say that as I stood there and looked at it first, flooded with the soft golden and
violet lights of sunset, I longed for a trumpet to send forth a clarion call over this vast
country and to cry: "Stop, stop, Americans! Do not go abroad! Look at your own
country first. Come here and see what God has wrought." — Edith Sessions Tupper.
Even before entering the hotel I had seen what would alone repay a journey from
Boston to Bright Angel Trail. The marvelous sea of color was like a revelation of the
new Jerusalem. The colossal canyon itself could not hold the people who would throng
here, were it adequately known. — Lilian Whiting, author of "The World Beautiful."
The Creator has several autographs ^ — Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon
of Arizona and others. The Yosemite might be called the Valhalla, the temple of the
gods; the Yellowstone might be called their playground, their sublime wonderland; the
Grand Canyon, bursting upon the vision out of its remote solitude in the Arizona desert,
might be called their grave. Horror! Tragedy! Silence! Death! Chaos! There is the
awful canyon in five words. Standing on the rim of this titan of chasms, studying its
awful and bewildering architecture, its terrifying abysses, plunging precipice into precipice,
spectral, elusive, overwhelming the faculties, and over all the unbroken silence of the
underworld, save for the weeping of the pines at dusk, and the hoarse, almost indistin-
guishable, groaning of the giant river boring unseen in its remotest abyss — it seemed to
me as if it were the burying ground of the universe. It is the delirium of Nature. It
seems both alive and dead. The mind at first stands aghast. There is a sense of terror
that cannot be put into words. There is the silence of eternity. There is no yardstick,
except the units be in abysmal vortexes and tangled mountain forms. There is nothing
to compare it with or measure it by, but infinity. — Rev. C. B. Spencer, in Rocky Moun-
tain Advocate, Denver.
I have stood on mountain tops and looked across distances greater than any between
the rims of this abyss, but none of these gave me this thrilling sense of grandeur appall-
ing and unearthly, of supernal and impossible beauty. And the utter restfulness of the
place makes it eternal to the sense. Here is no motion except the motion of light and
shadow, no life but the life of the spirit. This must be the place of departed souls, for
here all things endure.
And the return to the rim is an ascent into heaven — one cannot escape the illusion.
The supernal vision returns to me — I think I shall always see it when I close my eyes,
and long for it when I open them. Surely it would be a shame to enter paradise without
beholding the uttermost splendor of earth. So let me urge this place of peace and glory
upon all who dwell in cities and burden their minds with things of little importance. —
Miss Harriet Monroe, in Chicago Record-Herald.
Nowhere in all the world can the geologist obtain in a single glance such an impres-
sive lesson in geology. — Ralph S. Tarr, Professor of Physical Geography, Cornell
A TRIP ALONG THE RIM.
For the traveler, no emphasis of commendation would be excessive. American
pilgrims will cross the ocean, will seek the Alps, will penetrate the wilds of Russian
Siberia, will traverse Indian wilds and African deserts, in search of novelty, and yet they
will neglect this greatest of novelties, this surpassing wonder of their native land * * *
A pageant of ghastly desolation and yet of frightful vitality, such as neither Dante nor
Milton in their most sublime conceptions ever even approached. * * * -sfr Your
heart is moved with feeling that is far too deep for words. Hour after hour you would
sit, entranced, at the edges of this mighty subterranean spectacle, lost in the wonder and
glory of it, forgetful of self, and conscious only of the Divine Spirit. — William Winter,
in the Pacific Monthly.
Nature has a few big places beyond man's power to spoil — the ocean, the two icy
ends of the globe, and the Grand Canyon. * * * Xhe view down the gulf of color
and over the rim of its wonderful wall, more than any other view I know, leads us to
think of our earth as a star with stars swimming in light, every radiant spire pointing the
way to the heavens. * * ^ One's most extravagant expectations are infinitely
surpassed, though one expects much from what is said of it. * * * This is the
main master furrow of its kind on our continent, incomparably greater and more
impressive than any other yet discovered, or likely to be discovered. * * * Surely
nowhere else are there illustrations so striking of the natural beauty of desolation and
death, so many of Nature's own mountain buildings wasting in glory of high desert air —
going to dust. * * * It seems a gigantic statement for even Nature to make, all
in one mighty stone word. Wildness so Godful, cosmic, primeval, bestows a new sense
of earth's beauty and size. * * ♦ g^^. ^.j^^ colorSy the living, rejoicing colors^
chanting, morning and evening, in chorus to heaven! Whose brush or pencil, however
lovingly inspired, can give us these.? * * * In the supreme flaming glory of sunset
the whole canyon is transfigured, as if all the life and light of centuries of sunshine
stored up in the rocks was now being poured forth as from one glorious fountain, flood-
ing both earth and sky. — John Muir, in The Century Magazine.
IN TIME OF FLOOD.
From the ragged upper edge of a western cloud bank — grim battlement of the sun —
hang an arras of many league-long Indian blankets. Drive under them, from beyond,
a tempest that shall rush, mad with fear, from the awful Commander's presence.
The high escutcheoned curtain is hurled in a thousand rugged billows; tossed into
shifting peaks and weird convolutions; rolled and ribboned and rent, while the fierce
barbaric colors are massed and parted; cities seem builded and razed, seas stormed, and
forests heaving under the flying canopy; and the trailing, splendid shreds cover the world
from the far horizon to your very feet.
You have hung a wondrous tapestry; in the midst of its upheaval let it be fixed —
changed to flaming stone, backed and bulwarked to the mighty ribs of earth with the
unyielding fabric of mountains. Rugged and broken and strange, the wonder appalls
you. Cast over it the clear, light, purple dust of distance and the gray gossamer of ages.
Very faintly, you see the Grand Canyon in your fancy. — Thomas Wood Stevens, in
The Grand Canyon is one of the few great sights of the world that comes up to its
reputation. I have crossed the grandest passes of the Alps and Appenines, of the
Lebanons and Balkans, but nothing there seen stands out so vehemently grand as my
memory of the Grand Canyon. This glorious handiwork of the Creator speaks to the
soul as a printed book cannot. — Rev. W. H. Withrow, Editor Methodist Magazine,
We don't realize what we have in this country in the way of scenery. Out there in
Arizona is a scenic wonder, the like of which, world-wide travelers say is not to be found
anywhere on earth. When the great chasm opened before me I caught my breath and
murmured: "My God, there it is!" Nearly everyone who visits the canyon for the first
time gives involuntary expression to some such phrase. It draws upon the emotions as
no sermon, no oration, could possibly do, and men of rigid exterior and neglectful reli-
gious habits have been known to bend in reverence before this sublime mystery. It was
twelve miles tb the opposite brink where we looked and over a mile to the bottom, along
which the great Colorado, resembling a tiny yellow ribbon as it zigzagged on its fretful
course, has flowed and roared for ages — a body of water ten times the size of the Nile,
and with power enough, could it be utilized, to feed numberless manufactories. —
Frank Caughey, Vice-President Detroit Board of Trade, in Detroit Free Press.
If you want grandeur for the eye, elixir for the lungs and a novel experience for the
mind, come here. ^ "^ ■» Four days from New York, and you find yourself in a
world as new and remarkable as some dream vision might provide. * * * You are
overcome, blinded, awed, startled by the splendor of color and the magnificence of design
in which Nature has indulged herself * * * It is like an excavated city of the gods
of Olympus. * * * Whatever else you have seen of the wonders of the earth, do
not believe you have seen the most wonderful until you have stood on the rim of the
Grand Canyon of Arizona. — Ella Wheeler Wilcox, in New York Journal.
There are rivers in Europe that delight tourists and are world-renowned — the beau-
tiful blue Danube, the castle-bordered Rhine and the Rhone, born in a glacier high up
in the mountains of Switzerland — but here we have a river of the new world which,
having its origin in the deep solitudes of the Rockies, carves out a weirdly eventful his-
tory for itself. It passes through mighty gorges, tumbles in cataracts, falls in rapids, is
fed by the innumerable mountain springs and rivulets and rivers, and rushes along to its
goal, the ocean. Leaving the Grand Canyon it continues its winding course away from
the habitations of man, through the burning plains of a great arid desert, losing its
identity forever in the great Gulf of California. — Arthur K. Peck.
Remoteness can no longer excuse the transcontinental traveler for failing to see this,
America's grandest spectacle; for of the three great wonders of the western world, the
Yellowstone, the Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, the latter is now the most easily
reached. '•' * '^'' Let no one imagine, as he first looks out over the chaos of cliffs,
terraces, domes, obelisks and buttes of fantastic shape, that he has really seen the canyon.
He has merely read the first line in the preface of a book, which never once repeats
itself. — H. G. Peabody, in "Glimpses of the Grand Canyon of Arizona."
The most imposing panorama in Norway, according to the popular judgment, is the
"Raftsund," in the Lofoten Islands, which was selected by the Norwegian government as
presenting the highest type of national scenery for exhibition in the form of a cyclorama
at the Paris Exposition. Emperor William of Germany, who comes into the fjords of
Norway nearly every year in his yacht, has erected a cabin on the top of one of the
mountains, from which he can obtain a bird's-eye view of a large area, and it is declared
that from his eyrie may be witnessed the greatest variety of mountain scenery in the
world. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado could swallow up all the fjords in the
Lofoten Islands and conceal them from human view; the brilliant colors of its walls are
not seen in Norway. Here we have only the dull, dark, gray rock, with its cushions of
velvet moss and scrub pine, the intense glittering white of newly fallen snow, the "baby
blue" tints of the glaciers and the dark sullen green of the deep waters. — William E.
Curtis, in Chicago Record- Herald.
TRAIL PARTY LEAVING EL TOVAR.
CORNER OK THE RENDEZVOUS. EL EOVAR.
The Grand Canyon. What is it? I do not know; you do not know; God only
knows. When I stood for more than an hour on Sunset Rock and the sun went down
below the horizon, and I viewed the various changes of light and shade, I immediately
thought of the next change, and the inimitable words, "Nearer, my God, to Thee," came
forcibly to mind. I have seen many wonders in the world, both natural and artificial —
St. Peter's of Rome, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the magnificent scenery of the Rhine,
the beauties of Ireland (not forgetting the Lakes of Killarney), the lovely gardens of
England, the roaring Atlantic, Niagara Falls, etc., but all sink into insignificance com-
pared with the wonderful beauty of the Grand Canyon. If you have any desire to know
the Grand Canyon, rely neither on poet nor writer, but see it with your own eyes. None
other can transmit its wonders. — Geo. B. Reeve, Second Vice-President and General
Manager, Grand Trunk Railway System.
The Iron Gates of the Danube and the river gorges of the Caucasus might be
multiplied a hundred times and they could be buried in one side gorge of this king of
gorges. Careful estimates show that the main canyon with its tributaries, if placed in
one continuous length, would reach over twenty thousand miles, and any mile of this
distance would far surpass any mountain gorge to be found in England, Scotland, Ireland
My camp at the canyon is in the sweep of a vast amphitheater. It extends from
"cusp to cusp," over sixty miles. It is from 6,000 to 7,000 feet deep. From the rim
to the wild river which turbulently dashes through its inner gorge of granite it is about
seven miles. In other words it is from twelve to fifteen miles, in a straight line across
the canyon, from rim to rim, at any point in this amphitheater.
Make, in imagination, a real theater of this vast space. Allowing twice as much
room for the seat of each person as is given in the most comfortable theater in existence,
you could seat here an audience of two hundred and fifty millions of people. And these
would all be in the stalls on this side. An orchestra of one hundred million pieces and
a chorus of one hundred and fifty million voices could be placed very comfortably on
the opposite side. Is it in the power of the unaided imagination to conceive such ascene?
If the waters of the Thames, Severn, Trent, Ouse, Tyne, Tay and Clyde, were a 1
massed together, they would flow in the dark depths of the inner gorge, and one. standing
on the rim and looking down upon the rapidly flowing waves would see only a silverv
ribbon, here and there glistening in the brilliant Arizona sunlight. — G. Wharton James,
in Alkahest Magazine.
The Grand Canyon of Arizona fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison — beyond
description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world. * * * Lg^- ^^a^
great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimitv
and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your
children, your children's children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight
which every American should see. — President Theodore Roosevelt, in speech at
Grand Canyon, May 6, 1903.
At El Tovar there is a billiard room, also a large music room — both beautiful apart-
ments. Although there were many guests, the billiard tables, piano and waxed floor
were seldom used. This seeme'd strange until I got under the spell of the canyon.
That titanic chasm won't permit games and dancing. It is fascinating to such a degree
that one wishes to look at it all the time. Describe it? A man who has never seen it can
do that better than one who has been under its charm. I am going back again some day.
— Walter H. Page, Editor World's Work, in newspaper interview. May 25, 1905.
What is it like.'* It is like itself only of all things earthly. Other planets, indeed,
may have one such among them, or it seems they should have; but two is enough for
an infinite scheme — one for angels, somewhere — and one for men, in Arizona. * * *
This is God's Reservation. "Thus far" is v/ritten in characters of living light, as clear,
as sure as the writing on Belshazzar's palace wall. "This much," says God, "you can
spare to me wherein I may impart to man ideas of light and space, of height and depth."
—Rev. S. L. McKee, West Salem, Wis.
Behold the realm where Colorado flows !
Here countless centuries have wrought their will
In forms majestic with impellent skill;
Cathedrals reared their naves from this repose,
With pomp of giant pinnacle where glows
The sunset; and a stream, that scarce might fill
An emperor's chalice, carved its way until
The sculptures of a million years uprose.
And from the imbedded silence of this stone —
Strange hieroglyphic tomb of time's decay — '
The river's voice forever stronger grown,
A sunlit spirit in its shadowing clay.
Sings to the soul, that makes impatient moan
And speeds it blithely on unto the open day.
— Louise Morgan Sill, in Harper's Weekly, May 4, 1901
Vishnu, the gods of old are dead! Long dead
Are Zeus, Astarte, and that lotus-flower
I sis of Egypt. Meets each his hour.
Yet thou, silent within thy temple dread.
Locked against prayers, mounted above the tread
Of climbing feet; thou from thy purple tower
Contemplatest the stern inscrutable power
Whence all things come and whither all are led.
The day in splendor of lilac and clear blue
Visits thy mighty seat. The sapphire night
Broods in the abyss with darkness, and the rain
Drapes thee with clouds, hails thee and bids adieu
In thunder. Steadfast on thy terraced height
Thou seest bold Time besiege thy throne in vain.
— Temple of Vishnu, Grand Canyon, by Wm T. Patchell.
GRAND CANYON OF ARIZONA.
w vr w w Tr
O symphony of form and color and silence,
Dream-like in your deep of luminous ether,
Your faint-blue, shimmering sea of haze, strata-rippled;
Am I not indeed looking down into some lake enchanted,
Seeing the City that all men seek forever
Reflected there from heaven? Bj^croft LibSQ
Surely this is not real, earth-born or earth-included!
Hark! from far, far below a murmur,
A roar in a breath and a whisper.
The Still Small Voice audibly,
The sound of the sea in a shell.
Save this, over all, holding all, the Arizona stillness.
The great, wide, brooding, wonderful hush of the desert.
O what wait you for, O Desert, soft and terrible.
Motionless, beautiful and infinite?
Why are you so calm and expectant?
What god, what cycle, is coming?
Are you only the wise, O Desert?
Is it you that hold the Meaning?
— J. William Lloyd, The Conservator, Philadelphia.
I stood upon the rim of some strange world —
♦Vague, silent, mystical — its depths unfurled
In splendid, sloping terraces, mist-hung.
And wondrous in the shifting colors flung
Like draperies of gauze 'twixt space and sun.
A sleeping silver snake, seen from the heights.
The far-ofl^ river rushing to its doom.
From startling depths a city rose to view,
Builded in ages when the earth was new —
Vast hanging gardens, gay in mineral bloom.
Enchanted castles, silent as the tomb;
Domes, towers and ramparts, bathed in violet lights,
And tints — an artist's rapture and despair —
Ten million sunsets must have shattered there.
— Henry Cleveland Wood in Four Track News.
EL TOVAR HOTEL.
Photo by Putnam & Valentine.
GRAND VIEW HOTEL AND ANNEX.
Phulo by Maude.
INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS.
HERE is only one way by which to directly reach the Grand Canyon of Arizona
and that is via the Santa Fe (The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway System).
There are two ways of reaching the canyon from the Santa Fe — rail
from Williams, and private conveyance from Flagstaff.
The route from Flagstaff is not available in winter. The bulk of the
travel is via Williams, sixty-four miles north to El Tovar — open all the year.
THE FOUR TRAILS.
There are but three points from which an easy descent may be made of the south wall
of the Grand Canyon in the vicinity of the granite gorge,
I. At Grand View, down Grand View and Red Canyon trails.
1. At El Tovar, down Bright Angel Trail.
3. At Bass' Camp, down Bass Trail,
While the canyon is accessible over trails at other places outside of the district
named (such as Lee's Ferry Trail, by wagon from Winslow; Moki Indian Trail, byway
of Little Colorado Canyon; and Diamond Creek road to Colorado River from Peach
Springs station), tourists take the F^l Tovar, Grand View and Bass' Camp routes,
because of the superior facilities and views there offered.
It is near Grand View that Marble Canyon ends and the Grand Canyon proper begins.
Northward, eighteen miles away, is the mouth of the Little Colorado Canyon. From
Grand View the beginning of the granite gorge is first seen.
El Tovar is approximately in the center, and Bass' Camp at the western end of the
granite gorge. By wagon road it is about thirteen miles from El Tovar east to Grand
View, and twenty-three miles west to Bass' Camp.
The Grand Canyon as seen from Grand View is ideally beautiful — a scene of wide
outlooks and^ brilliant hues; at El Tovar, deepest and most impressive — a scene that
awakens the profoundest emotions; at Bass' Camp, the most varied — a scene of strik-
ing contrasts in form and color.
Each locality has its special charm. All should be visited, if time permits, as only by
long observation can one gain even a superficial knowledge of what the Grand Canyon is.
THE RIDE FROM WILLIAMS.
Because of recent improvements in service the Grand Canyon of Arizona may
now be visited, either in summer or winter, with perfect comfort. No one need be
deterred by fear of inclement weather. The trip is entirely feasible every day in the year.
Leaving the Santa Fe transcontinental train at Williams, Arizona, passengers change
in same depot to a local train of the Grand Canyon Railway, which leaves Williams twice
a day, and arrives at destination after a three hours' run.
Williams is a busy town of 1,500 inhabitants, 378 miles west of Albuquerque, on the
Santa Fe, Here are located large sawmills, smelters, numerous well-stocked stores and
railroad division buildings. The Grand Canyon Hotel — a large brick edifice of forty
rooms, with electric lights and first-class dining-room — affords good accommodations.
INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS.
There is usually ample time at Williams, between trains, for the ascent of Williams
Mountain, which rises near the town to a height of 9,000 feet. Tourists will find the
trip thoroughly enjoyable. It can be made in five hours on horseback in perfect safety.
The trail is an easy one, first leading through a gently sloping path of pines, then steeply
up to the wind-swept summit alongside a pretty stream bordered by thickets of quaking
aspens. Chimney Rock, with its eagle's nest, is a noteworthy rock formation. On the
summit is buried the pioneer scout. Bill Williams. From his resting-place there is a
wide outlook on the eastern horizon. Kendricks, Sitgreaves and Williams mountains
are also visible. Red Butte, thirty miles distant, is a prominent local landmark. Before
the terminus is reached the train climbs a long, high ridge and enters Coconino Forest,
which resembles a natural park.
The most unique, most comfortable, and one of the costliest resort hotels in the
Southwest has recently been built by the Santa Fe at the railway terminus and not far
from the head of Bright Angel Trail.
It is named El Tovar, after Don Pedro Tovar, a Spanish conquistador whose name
is linked with the discovery of the Grand Canyon by Coronado's men in 1540. It is
under the general management of Mr. Fred Harvey.
El Tovar is a long, low, rambling structure, built of native boulders and pine logs.
From north to south the width is 327 feet; from east to west, 218 feet. The height
varies from three to four stories. There are more than a hundred sleeping-rooms, with
accommodations for upwards of 250 guests.
The building is in complete harmony with the surroundings. Not a Waldorf-Astoria
(admirable as that type is for a city), but a hotel that the traveler, seeking the best, will
find wholly to his liking — a country clubhouse is the nearest type, but El Tovar is more
From every room one gets a glimpse of the Grand Canyon and Coconino Forest.
Seven miles away by trail, and a mile, if measured straight downward, is the Colorado
River, its tumult never reaching the upper stillness. The north rim is thirteen dizzy
At some period of the day the sun enters every part of the hotel. There are spacious
sheltered and open verandas and roof gardens, enabling guests to enjoy the sunshine and
the invigorating mountain air. Everywhere a riot of color and beauty of form — a vision
Some of the most attractive features are:
A solarium — just the place for a sun bath should the day happen to be chilly.
A music-room, which is artistically decorated and handsomely furnished.
A clubroom, where may be found billiard and pool tables, shuffie-board, and other
means of indoor enjoyment.
The rendezvous — similar to the lounging room of a country club — finished in logs
with huge stone fireplaces.
Main dining-room, 38x89 feet — has log walls, a rough-board arched ceiling supported
by great log trusses, and two stone fireplaces. On each side are private dining-rooms.
The cuisine is Harvey's best.
INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS.
Many of the bedrooms are en suite with bath. Hot and cold water, steam heat, and
electric light are generously supplied. Among the minor comforts may be mentioned a
telephone in each room, with direct office connection. El Tovar also has up-to-date
culinary and laundry departments.
The protection against fire is very complete. The plant furnishing heat, light, ice,
power, and water is far enough removed to be unobjectionable. The sewage is perfectly
Merely that guests may have absolutely pure water to drink, it is brought from a
spring 1 20 miles distant, filtered three times, and aerated.
Kl Tovar not only has the advantage of being located in the midst of the world's
grandest scenery, but it provides solid comfort, rest and recreation every day in the year.
The climate here is cool in summer and generally mild in winter, with almost continual
sunshine. The occasional midwinter snowstorms along the rim are usually of short
The hotel is conducted on the American plan; rates $4.00 a day and upwaids. Livery
may be hired for drives along the rim. Trail animals and guides are furnished for trips
down the trail. Hon">eback: rides may be taken, or one may saunter along winding paths
where canyon and forest meet. The opportunities for sight-seeing are innumerable.
It will be noted that the necessary expense for a stop-over of several days need not
be very heavy. If one chooses to economize, there is opportunity to get cozy lodgings
in cabin or tent at Bright Angel Camp, adjacent, for ^5^ c0i^ a night, each person, meals
being furnished on European plan at Harvey cafe. . .The-aceommodations here are clean,
wholesome, and thoroughly comfortable.
Fifty yards from El Tovar is an exact reproduction of the curious two- and three-story
stone and adobe dwellings of the Hopi Indians, together with several Navajo hogans.
In the Hopi House are installed some of the prize-winning collections of Indian
handiwork exhibited by Mr. Harvey at the St. Louis World's Fair. Here also live a
small band of Hopis. Without exception these are the most primitive Indians in our
country. Their ceremonies are hundreds of years old, the most famous being that of
the snake dance. The men weave fine blankets and the women make pottery. Among
the Navajos are blanket-weavers and silversmiths. Supais from Cataract Canyon fre-
quently visit El Tovar.
El Tovar furnishes the crowning reason why you should visit the Grand Canyon.
DOWN BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL.
The trail here is perfectly safe and is generally open the year round. In midwinter
it is liable to be closed for a few days at the top by snow, but such blockade is only
temporary. It reaches from the hotel four miles to the top of the granite wall imme-
diately overlooking the Colorado River. At this point the river is 1,272 feet below,
while the hotel on the rim is 3,158 feet above. The trip is commonly made on horse-
back, accompanied by a guide; charges for trail stock and services of guide are moderate.
A strong person, accustomed to mountain climbing, can make the round trip on foot in
one day, by starting early enough; but the average traveler will soon discover that a
horse is a necessity, especially for the upward climb.
Eight hours are required for going down and coming back, allowing two hours for
Copyright, l»oi, by Detroit Photographic Co,
THE MAIN DINING ROOM.
INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS.
lunch, rest and sight-seeing. Those wishing to reach the river leave the main trail at
Indian Garden Spring and follow the downward course of Indian Garden and Pipe creeks.
Provision is made* for those wishing to camp out at night on the river's edge, also at
DRIPPING SPRING TRAIL.
About eight miles west of El Tovar is Boucher Trail, built many years ago by
Louis Boucher. The upper section zigzags downward for more than three miles, fol-
lowing a side ravine into Hermit Basin and across the abrupt face of a white sandstone
cliff to Dripping Spring, where a small tent camp has been picturesquely located. Thence
the trail continues down an easy slope for nearly two miles and then fearlessly out into
the canyon on the top of the red sandstone wall and close to its edge. The pathway
beyond and below to the river is not finished and is rarely used. The view at the
"red-wall" terminus is unequaled. One seems to be suspended in mid-air, imprisoned on
all sides by huge walls.
The round trip. El Tovar to Dripping Spring, may be made in a day; there is an
excellent wagon road by way of Rowe's Well. A feasible trail along the inner plateau
connects Boucher and Cameron camps; distance about nineteen miles, and time required
Grand View Hotel and Grand View Trail are reached by a pleasant forest drive of
thirteen and one-half miles east from El Tovar.
Grand View is a cozy inn, noted for its commanding situation and delightful sur-
roundings. It has been open to visitors since the days of the old Flagstaff stage line.
The original log structure is now devoted to the lounging and dining rooms, while a new
building, near by, contains guest-rooms, bath, etc. Both buildings are warmed by steam
and both have wide fire-places.
The hotel stands upon the highest elevation of the south rim of the canyon. The
broad piazzas, overlook a scene of vast extent. The canyon here makes its initial curve,
swinging from the Painted Desert into the Kaibab Plateau.
Across this portion of the canyon the view extends, including not only the wondrous
abyss, but far beyond it the rugged wastes of the Painted Desert to the dome of Navajo
Mountain, 120 miles away.
Grand View Trail enters the canyon near Grand View Point. It is a safe, wide and
carefully constructed trail, noted for its extensive and varied views. A trail recently
built for convenience in packing ore from a mine in the canyon descends directly from
Grand View Point, joining the main trail a short distance down.
Half a mile down the rim Grand View Trail runs out upon an airy plateau called
Horse-shoe Mesa. On this Mesa are comfortable cottages, and reguW meals are served
to parties who spend a night or more here in the heart of the Grand Canyon. Trails
lead from Horse-shoe Mesa in all directions into the lower depths of the canyon, to
various remarkable outlooks, to the Colorado River at several points, and to unfamiliar
parts of the interior of the canyon.
The Limestone caves, on Horse-shoe Mesa, are caverns well worth a visit. The
largest one may be penetrated for a quarter of a mile.
INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS.
Outside of the Canyon, along its brink and about the great plateau, many walks, rides
and drives may be taken from Grand View Hotel.
Moran, Bissell, Hollenbeck and other renowned points on the rim of the Grand
Canyon are within a few hours of Grand View Hotel. The rim trail to Moran Point,
where one may ride for two miles close along the edge, gives unequaled panoramic views
of the depths below. Ruined cliff dwellings of a prehistoric race are a feature of interest
all about Grand View.
Rates at Grand View Hotel, or at the cottages in the canyon, or on camping trips,
are ^3.00 to $4.00 per day, and |i8 to $25 per week. Stage fare, ^3.00 round trip;
trunks, ^2.00 round trip. Saddle and pack animals, carriages and experienced guides
supplied at reasonable rates.
At the western end of the granite gorge is Bass Trail, an easy route down to the
Colorado River and up the other side to Point Sublime and Powell's Plateau. The
magnificent panorama eastward from Havasupai Point takes in fifty miles of the canyon,
while westward is the unique table-like formation which characterizes the lower reaches
of the river. The views here, from both rims, are pronounced by noted artists and
explorers to be unequaled.
Present accommodations at Bass' Camp, near head of this trail, are fairly good, con-
sisting of a frame cabin, several tents and good trail stock; wholesome meals are served.
Bass' Camp is reached by team from El Tovar, twenty-three miles.
The trip to Cataract Canyon is elsewhere described. !
FLAGSTAFF AND VICINITY.
In his "Climbing Sunset Mountain" Professor Beecher has mentioned one of the
many attractions for tourists in the vicinity of Flagstaff.
The town itself is an interesting place, prettily situated in the heart of the San Fran-
cisco uplift and surrounded by a pine forest. On a neighboring hill is the noted Lowell
Eight miles southeast from Flagstaff" — reached by a pleasant drive along a level
road through tall pines — is the Walnut Canyon, a rent in the earth several hundred feet
deep and three miles long, with steep terraced walls of limestone. Along the shelving
terraces, under beetling projections of the strata, are scores of quaint cliff dwellings, the
most famous group of its kind in this region. The larger abodes are divided into
several compartments by cemented walls, many parts of which are still intact. It is
believed that these cliff dwellers were of the same stock as the Pueblo Indians of to-day.
Nine miles from Flagstaff and only half a mile from the old stage road to the
Grand Canyon, upon the summit of an extinct crater, the remarkable ruins of the cave-
dwellers may be seen.
The magnificent San Francisco Peaks, visible from every part of the country within
a radius of a hundred miles, lie just north of Flagstaff. There are three peaks which
form one mountain. From Flagstaff" a road ten miles long has been constructed up
INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS.
Humphrey's Peak, whose summit is 12,750 feet above sea level. The trip to the sum-
mit and back is easily made in one day.
There is also a first-class road from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon at Grand View,
seventy-five miles, open for travel in spring, summer, and fall. A two days' trip each
way by wagon. Supplies, camp outfits, and teams procurable at Flagstaff; cost of team
and driver about $5.00 a day. A very enjoyable drive through pine forests and across
green mesas, along the old stage route to the canyon.
The summit of Humphrey's Peak affords a noble view, the panorama including the
north wall of the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Moki villages, the Superstition
Mountains near Phoenix, many lakes, and far glimpses over a wide circle.
WHAT TO BRING.
If much tramping is done stout, thick shoes should be provided. Ladies will find
that short walking skirts are a convenience; divided skirts are preferable, but not essential,
for the horseback journey down the zigzag trail. Traveling caps and (in summer) broad-
brimmed straw hats are useful toilet adjuncts. Otherwise ordinary clothing will suffice.
A good field glass and camera should be brought along. Divided skirts and straw hats
may be rented at El Tovar and Grand View hotels.
COST OF TRIP.
The round-trip ticket rate, Williams to Grand Canyon and return, is only $6.50.
Adding I4.00 to |8.oo for two days' stay at Canyon Hotel, I2.00 for part of a day at
hotel in Williams, $2.50 for probable proportion of cost of guide, $3.00 for trail stock,
and the total necessary expense of the three days' stop-over is about |2i. 00 for one
person; each additional day only adds a few dollars to the cost for hotel.
Stop-overs will be granted at Williams on railroad and Pullman tickets if advance
application is made to train and Pullman conductors. Baggage may be stored in the
station at Wiljiams free of charge by arrangement with ticket agent. Pullman sleeper
service has been established to and from the Grand Canyon.
LENGTH OF STAY.
While one ought to remain a week or two, a stop-over of three days from the trans-
continental trip will allow practically two days at the canyon. One full day should be
devoted to an excursion down Bright Angel Trail, and the other can be given to carriage
rides along the rim or a trip to Grand View. Another day — making a four-days' stop-
over in all — will enable visitors to get more satisfactory views of this stupendous wonder.
Most persons make the mistake of trying to see the canyon in too short a time.
They rush in, rush around and rush out. That's the wrong way. The right way is to
take it leisurely. Spend one night down in the canyon by the river, which means two
days instead of one for the trail trip. Devote a whole day to one of the "points," just
quietly trying to absorb the panorama. Another day for another "point." Walk along
rim trails, or ride in the woods. Set aside an hour or two every day for idle dreams on
the hotel veranda. See all there is at El Tovar and then tiy Grand View, coming back
to El Tovar for a final look. You will never regret the extra time thus spent.
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MAP OF GRAND CANYON OF ARIZONA.
BY W.J, BLACK